This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water And Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO). Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).
Welcome to the School
Esibeye Primary School is in Vihiga County, Kenya. 748 students attend here, and the school employs 14 staff to teach them. They also employ three support staff to keep things running smoothly.
(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.)
A normal for students attending Esibeye Primary School begins at 6am. They have to wake up early to eat their breakfast, gather their books, and get water to carry to school. Pupils carry water from their homes in their small jerrycans of three to 10 liters each to be used in the school kitchen and for drinking throughout the day.
When they arrive, students start sweeping their classrooms in preparation for morning classes. There's 30 minutes of study hall before morning assembly, when the teacher on duty makes announcements. There's a lunch break when some students go home to find food, and others are served school lunch. They come back for 1:30pm lessons and continue learning until game time.
Though the school has a vegetable garden, its harvest does not meet the needs of the school but instead benefits only the teachers. This school is located near a decent road network that makes the commute much easier; it is also near a market called Luanda which helps them access all kinds of goods and services needed.
There is no source of water at school. Students are sent out into the neighboring community to two protected springs. After visiting these springs, the field officer confirmed that they most likely yield safe, clean water because the construction is of high quality.
Instead, it is the huge amount of time taken from learning that is negatively impacting students. Water from the springs is immediately used for drinking, cooking staff lunch, making tea, cleaning, and watering the school garden. As soon as it's used up, students have to leave what they're doing and get more. And since these water sources are in the community, students have to wait at the back of the line as community members get their water first.
There are a few blocks of latrines with 20 separate rooms. However, a chunk of these are missing their doors and can't be used. Two others have pits that are entirely full. This leaves nine pit latrines for the girls, but they're all almost full. There are two useable latrines for the boys, and two for teachers.
There is a hand-washing station for teachers in their staff area.
"Our school has a lot of problems, like a lack of safe water, lack of enough latrines, and hand-washing station for hygiene promotion and failure by the government to support the school. I personally have been trying to reach out to sympathizers of the school but all in vain. We have never lost hope...." said Headteacher Oluchiri. "We are really happy for the project and looking forward to accomplishing it and finally have water in our school as well as the latrines. This project is an answered prayer. Pupils were really touched when they heard of this project and are waiting to witness its installation at the school," he further explained.
Here’s what we plan to do about it.
You make this possible. Thank You for joining us to provide clean water, sanitation facilities, and important health information for these students and teachers.
Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training and Hand-Washing 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 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.
Plans: VIP Latrines
Two triple-door latrines will be constructed by our artisans and community volunteers. 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.
Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank
A 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank will alleviate the water crisis at this school. The school will help gather the needed materials such as sand, rocks, and water for our artisan to mix cement. Since the students and staff are so involved in the entire process, we know they’ll have a strong sense of ownership and pride about their new clean water source. Once it’s finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff. Students will no longer have to leave class throughout the day to find the water they need.
We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. These higher standards will translate to better academic performance!