Pupils wake up by 5:30am to prepare themselves for school. Once they've gathered up all of their things, they grab their empty jerrycans to fetch water on the way. After study hall from 6am to 7am, they break into groups to do their assigned cleaning chores. Normal classes go until 12:45pm lunch. On their way back from lunch, all upper class students are expected to bring another full container of water, which will be used to clean their classrooms again in the evening.
Total enrollment is 1,045 students, who are taught by 22 teachers. The school also employs three support staff. (Editor's Note: While this many people may have access on any given day, realistically a single water source can only support a population of 350-500 people. This school would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)
All the school has had is a tank of clean water that was purchased and then delivered. It was quickly used up, so the school opened up the top of the boozer so that it can catch rainwater. Thus, the school relies on students to fetch water not only for what the school needs for cooking lunch and cleaning, but for what each individual needs for drinking.
Bringing water to school every morning and during every lunch only meets a portion of the school's drinking and cleaning needs. Not only that, but the water students fetch is filthy, and most often comes from surface water sources like the one we followed them to during our visit. This open, dirty water source is almost one kilometer away!
There is also a food program for grades seven and eight (primary school in Kenya includes middle school) so that they have more time at school. The cooks require a lot of water, and the water students bring is prioritized for this program.
Some students skip school altogether to avoid the burden of carrying water. Class is even interrupted so that students can go back out to get more. This water is visibly contaminated, and students and staff suffer the consequences. There are constant complaints of typhoid, stomachaches, and headaches that result in absences.
There are eight pit latrines for girls, eight for boys, and four for staff. Huge lines form during class breaks, so long that several students don't get their turn before the next class starts. Many can't bear the long wait and must look for privacy elsewhere to relieve themselves.
There are no hand-washing stations for students or staff. Deputy Headteacher Akwesa said "the students are always absent from school due to poor hygiene and being infected with waterborne diseases like stomachaches from not accessing clean and safe water."
Here's what we're going to do about it:
Training will be held for two days. The facilitator will use PHAST (participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation), ABCD (asset-based community development), CTC (child to child), lectures, group discussions, and handouts to teach health topics and ways to promote good practices within the school. The CTC method will prepare students to lead other students into healthy habits, as well as kickstart a CTC club for the school.
The CTC club will oversee the new facilities, such as hand-washing stations, and make sure they are kept clean and in working condition. The two hand-washing stations will be delivered to the school, and the club will fill them with water on a daily basis and make sure there is always a cleaning agent such as soap or ash.
Two triple-door latrines will be constructed with local materials that the school will help gather. Three doors will serve the girls while the other three serve the boys. And with a new source of water on school grounds, students and staff should have enough to keep these new latrines clean.
Rainwater Catchment Tank
A 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank will help alleviate the water crisis at this school. The school will also help gather the needed materials such as sand, rocks, and water from the spring for mixing cement (students have already started helping). Once finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff. Students will no longer be responsible to find enough water to carry to school every day.
Deputy Akwesa said, "If you do this project here, it is really going to help us so much because now when the children are thirsty, they run and drink any water around the school and don't mind if it is clean or not." We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. These higher standards will translate to better academic performance!
This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water And Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO). Our team is pleased to provide the reports for this project (formatted and edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.