Giving Update: Shihimba Primary School

October, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Shihimba Primary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Purity Buyanzi. Thank you!

Giving Update: Shihimba Primary School

“Wow! This is the best primary school that I have ever visited,” said Field Officer Jemmimah Khasoha after her recent visit to Shihimba Primary School.

Jemmimah went to catch up with students and staff to hear how their WaSH projects, installed last year, have impacted their lives and education. Her account was heartening. She shared:

“The school is well organized and takes the greatest care the tank requires. [The tank] never go dry because they do not want the tank to have seepage when left dry. They have one of the expensive lockable taps which helps in rationing [water]. The pupils are very disciplined and once they were told ‘If you have to use it, then leave it clean,’ it has been their motto and they act on that. The soak pit is very clean with not any form of a single [bit of] dirt.”

“The life for the students and staff at Shihimba Primary School have improved in various ways since last year. Initially, they used to get water from the spring and some students would also come with water from home but these practices are now in the past tense.”

“The school looks tidy and very smart with the classrooms having no dust nor mud. This means that they do clean and they are using the water from the tank and this makes it easy to clean the classrooms more often. Within the compound, you get to see handwashing containers stationed strategically so as to help the pupils to wash their hands well [and] easily. The strategic points also make the pupils remember that they need to wash their hands.”

“The toilets are clean and no bad smell is heard of. The kitchen which is also in the school compound is clean and the dishrack in front of it tells it all – that they maintain cleanliness and the hygiene is on point.”

“All these changes have been brought by the installation of the water tank that is situated in the school by The Water Project. With water, everything is possible to do and it is easy to maintain cleanliness and this is why the school looks neat.”

Left to right: Teacher Mrs. Esther Ihaji, student Purity Buyanzi, and Field Officer Jemmimah Khasoha in front of the rain tank

Teacher Mrs. Esther Ihaji reflected with Jemmimah on how their school has changed for the better over the last 12 months.

“The biggest changes are ranging from one to another. First, we used to fetch water from the river and also pupils came with some from home. This was hectic for many of the pupils [who would] come to school in the morning with their school uniforms and even books wet with water. Others could bring dirty water which affected almost everyone.”

“But, we can smile again, [for] we said bye to sorrow and trouble of not having clean, safe and sufficient water. This is because we got kindhearted people who brought us life. The rainwater harvesting tank serves us well and we are very appreciative.”

“Another change that has occurred is the good health, sanitation, and hygiene resulting from [the] VIP latrines constructed. The pupils now have a place to go to relieve themselves. It was pathetic, disgusting and the school had been given a closure notice by the public health people. Indeed we are grateful [to you] for coming to our rescue.”

Purity and Jemmimah high-five in front of the rain tank

Purity Buyanzi is a 12-year-old student at Shihimba Primary School who was full of smiles and joy when we met to talk with her in front of her school’s rain tank. Purity echoed her teacher’s

“Life for many if not all of us here in this school has really changed. We used to get dirty from the dust and untidy classrooms because we did not have enough water to sustain us. Again, we did not have toilets but right now we are having [them].”

“Since last year I improved my marks from 250 and right now I am [at] 300, almost getting to 350. This is just because I used to waste a lot of time looking for water during the morning, when I came from home, break times, and lunch. Now that we have clean, safe, and sufficient water I am proud that I use the time I used to go fetch water to study and this has resulted [in] my best performance. I was awarded the best performing and most improved pupil [award]. I thank God for the donor and I pray that you will continue to help other schools so that you can touch the lives of many, just the way you did to us.”

Purity with water from the rain tank

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