A Year Later: Ewamakhumbi Primary School

December, 2017

The population of the school has increased from 1,161 to 1,400 because of the facilities that were constructed in the school. Sanitation has also improved.

A Year Later: Ewamakhumbi Primary School

A year ago, generous donors helped build a rainwater catchment tank and latrines for the Ewamakhumbi Primary School in Western Kenya. Because of these gifts and the contributions of our monthly donors, partners are able to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with schools and communities, and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from our partner, Betty Muhongo Majani, with you.

The ongoing survival of many schools in Kenya is threatened if they are not able to provide water and sanitary facilities for the schools, yet it is difficult for parents to pay these expenses in addition to usual school fees. The Water Project and WEWASAFO have targeted schools just like Ewamakhumbi because of the potential that can be unlocked for both students and staff when clean water and sanitation is available.

The installation of the rainwater harvesting tank and the latrines has helped the Ewamakhumbi school to flourish, growing from 1,161 students to 1,400 students.  The responsibility of fetching water is primarily the responsibility of women and children in Western Kenya, and because of this it is often the women and children that benefit most directly from clean water access.  This has been the experience at Ewamakhumbi Primary School, as more and more students have access to education here!

However, one of the greatest signs of long-term sustainable health benefit can be seen through the behavior changes. Betty Muhongo Majani, a field officer for WEWASAFO, reports, “When we entered the school, we were able to see a number of children washing their hands after visiting the toilets and that clearly indicated that they took seriously what the learned during the Child To Child (hygiene) training. The school compound and the classrooms were also very clean showing the great impact that the water project has had to the school.” The improved school and compound cleanliness and the handwashing practices are signs of a team effort among the students, teachers, school administration, and WEWASAFO training staff.

Robert Odembo is the headteacher at Ewamakhumbi Primary School, and he believes that the increase of students at the school is because of the improved water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities. The growth accentuates not only the value for implementing water projects in schools, but also the ongoing need for commitment and investment in current and future projects in this area.

Celestine and a classmate at their water tank.

Celestine Juma, age 13, shares the direct impact that the water project at Ewamakhumbi has had on her life.  She says, “I have time to do my school work because the tank has given me enough water. I no longer go to the spring. The hand washing facility has really helped us to maintain our personal hygiene since everyone knows that he or she should wash hands after visiting latrine.” Clean water and hygiene training will impact Celestine and her classmates for years to come!

The investment in this water project has ripple effects throughout the lives of the students at Ewamakhumbi Primary Schools that extend to their families and into the larger community. We are excited to stay in touch with this school and to report the impact as they continue on their journey with clean water.

The Water Project and our partners are committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by monthly donors, allows us to visit communities up to 4 times a year. Read more about our program and how you can help.

See The Water Project in Celestine Juma's Community »

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