Samson Mmaitsi Secondary School is located in Mungavo Village, Kenya. It has a total enrollment of 406 students who are taught by 17 teachers. The school also employs three support staff.
When we first arrived at Samson Mmaitsi Secondary School, we second guessed whether or not we were at the right place. There were only two blocks of classrooms, and one of them was made of mud and iron sheets. We thought maybe we had arrived at the wrong place. There was another small mud house in the compound which turned out to be the kitchen.
This is a very rocky area. Students play on the rocks during class break and sit on them for snacks and for lunch.
There is no water source on school grounds. There is one drinking station, which serves as storage for water that students bring to school every morning. There were buckets and jerrycans all around the compound, and we were told that the students are expected to carry water from their homes daily as they come to school.
Most students live near Mungavo Spring where they collect their school water every evening. Later in the day, water is brought in by a motorcycle. The principal says they spend 300 shillings a day for this delivery. When this water is used up, students have to walk back out to Mungavo Spring.
This water is dirty, and students suffer from diarrhea and often miss class because of waterborne disease.
There are only four pit latrines. So many students depend on these that the pits are almost full. They're dirty and infested with bugs. Long lines form during break, and the last person has never had their turn by the time class starts again. There is nowhere for students to wash their hands when they're done.
Headteacher Gladys Kavere said, "As long as there are not enough toilets in this school, and the community at large, it will still be so hard to curb the problem of hygiene. Having the spring around has just tried to help, though it hasn't done much more because it is open to contamination."
What we can do:
Hygiene and Sanitation Training and Handwashing Stations
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. This 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 handwashing 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. Once finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff. Students will neither carry water in the morning nor go out to find it during the day.
There will be enough clean water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. 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 (edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.