Giving Update: Shibale Secondary School

July, 2019

A year ago, you funded a rainwater tank at Shibale Secondary School in Kenya – creating a life-changing moment for Linda Onyango. Thank you!

Giving Update: Shibale Secondary School

Shibale Secondary has never been the same since their water and sanitation projects were installed. And they hope to keep it that way.

As we entered the school gate on our most recent visit, we were greeted with very bright smiles that spoke to all the ways that the project has been of great benefit to the school. The school looked neater thanks to the availability of water and hygiene training. We came in unannounced and found that the hand washing stations had water, meaning that the concept of handwashing has been well received.

Principal Were Webukha shared his story of how the school has changed over the years from a state of struggle to one of increased water, sanitation, and hope.

“Shibale Secondary school is one of the most privileged schools in this region, [and yet] in 2017 our school was closed up by the Public Health Officer due to lack of sanitation facilities,” he said.

“Whenever we could sink pits [for new latrines] they would collapse due to the high water table. [Here] you can sink a pit up to only 8 feet and you reach the water. These toilets would fill up very quickly, hence driving poor sanitation in the school which prompted the Public Health Officer to close the school.”

“But with the coming of [your team], we were blessed with VIP Latrines which we upgraded to flush toilets due to the soil structure. In the past, we couldn’t do the flush toilets due to lack of water. We can now easily manage our sanitation problems as the water harvested in the tank is used for flushing the toilets and we have no worries about the routine checks from Public Health.”

“Construction of the water [tank] has gone a long way in saving a lot of money previously wasted on purchasing water and we are in the process of utilizing the saved money to buy additional land for the school. Thank you!” finished Mr. Webukha, all told to us while smiling.

Linda takes a drink

Also full of smiles was 18-year-old student Linda Onyango, the school’s Sanitation Secretary.

“Life at Shibale Secondary when I was in [my first year here] was not easy. This is because we had no water in the school compound and the little water purchased by the school was used for making meals. This forced us to walk to the stream in the sugar plantations for water, which was very risky for us as girls. We also had no latrines of our own and we had to share with the primary school and it was not easy,” recounted Linda.

The reason for Linda’s smiles quickly became clear as she continued her story.

“Now we have water in the school. The water from the tank has been pumped to an elevated tank on the latrines and we can even take showers when menstruating. Thanks to [you] we have clean and safe [water] for drinking, and we now can also clean our classes with ease.”

“A clean and safe environment coupled with clean drinking water will realize our dreams of excelling in the examinations hence [preparing us for] a bright future,” said Linda. Sounds like a great equation to us.

All smiles

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