In a remote village in Western Kenya sits the Kinu Primary School with 371 students and 16 teachers. The area enjoys a good road network and electricity connections.
The primary source of water for the school is a protected spring located outside the school compound. The spring is shared with the community members, causing delays due to congestion. The drought season is especially difficult due to the low water table, which means the school does not have sufficient water.
Mr. Odanga, the school Head Teacher, explained, "Most class lessons are interrupted when students are requested to go fetch water at the spring. The spring, being shared with the community, occasionally gets congested. During this time, students waste time collecting water, thus interrupting their lessons. I have several times missed teaching my class lessons as the students are not in class at the time."
Students fetch water in the morning, afternoon, and evening so there is sufficient water to meet the school's needs.
"We do waste much time at the spring fetching water, especially when the water point is congested. This has negatively impacted my studies," commented Susan V., a 12-year-old student.
A new well will allow the students to access clean, safe water within the school compound and focus on their studies.
What We Can Do:
We conducted a hydrogeological survey at this school and the results indicated the water table beneath it is an ideal candidate for a borehole well. Due to a borehole well's unique ability to tap into a safe, year-round water column, it will be poised to serve all of the water needs for this school's large population, even through the dry months.
The school will help collect the needed construction materials such as sand, rocks, and water for mixing cement. They will also provide housing and meals for the work team, in addition to providing local laborers. We will complement their materials by providing an expert team of artisans and drilling professionals, tools, hardware, and the hand-pump. Once finished, water from the well will then be used by the school’s students and staff for drinking, handwashing, cooking, cleaning, and much more.
The student health club will oversee the two new handwashing stations we will provide, and make sure they are kept clean and in working condition. The club leaders will fill the handwashing stations with water daily and make sure they are always supplied with a cleaning agent such as soap or ash.
We will construct two triple-door latrine blocks using local materials that the school will help gather. Three doors will serve the girls and three doors will serve the boys. All of these new latrines will have cement floors that are designed to be easy to use and to clean. And with a borehole right on school property, there should be enough water to keep them clean.
Training on Health, Hygiene, COVID-19, and More
We will hold a one-day intensive training session with students, teachers, and parents. This training will cover a wide range of topics including COVID-19 symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention; personal and environmental hygiene; and the operation and maintenance of the borehole, latrines, and handwashing stations. There will be a special emphasis on handwashing.
Our team of facilitators will use a variety of methods to train, including participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation, and asset-based community development. We will initiate a student health club, which will prepare students to lead other pupils into healthy habits at school and at home. We will also lead lectures, group discussions, and provide illustrative handouts to teach health topics and ways to promote good hygiene practices within the school including handwashing and water treatment. We will then conduct a series of follow-up trainings before transitioning to our regularly scheduled support visits throughout the year.
We and the school strongly believe that all of these components will work together to improve standards at this school, which will help lead to better student academic performance and will help unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.