Rabuor Primary School is located in Rabuor Village of Siaya County, Kenya. It has a total student enrollment of 464, most of which are from very poor farming families who barely earn enough to get by. The school employs 12 teachers and three support staff, who are parental figures to these young children.
The school has a unique landscape dotted with jagged clusters of igneous rocks; a resource that the school has benefitted from every time they tackle a construction project. Students also enjoy playing on or basking on these rocks during break times. The community members of Rabuor practice subsistence farming; growing an assortment of maize, beans and yams on their small plots.
Academics should be the focus of any normal day at school, but there are many interruptions throughout. At some points, pupils have to be sent our of the school to find water that will be used to prepare lunch. This is especially common during the driest months of the year, when the small plastic tank the school has doesn't get rain on a daily basis.
There is a hand-dug well in the neighboring community, but even that source dries up during the hottest time of the year, and it was dry at the time of this visit. At this well, students would tie their buckets to a rope and lower them down the hatch to pull up water. When students can't access this well, they walk even farther to a spring. When springs dry up, things get even worse. The school is especially hard-hit because of their lack of water storage facilities; they're not able to prepare for the dry times.
All of this walking and the heavy lifting of water tires these students, and they have trouble focusing in their classes. Whether it be from the well or spring, administration is sure that these students are consuming dirty water because of all the cases of typhoid reported.
There are some useable pit latrines on school grounds, but the pits are almost full. These are subject to overuse, for there are way too many students relying on each latrine. The lines are long, and students spend an awfully uncomfortable time as they wait during class break. These latrines are being swept out on a daily basis, but they need to be rinsed with water. Cleaning with water is often sacrificed because it would require extra trips out into the community.
Headteacher Alfred Adero said, "The health situation of our pupils and the community at large is in a very unsatisfying state because of inadequate hygiene and sanitation facilities, coupled with acute water shortages cutting across the area. The situation gets worse during the dry season when a few springs found around here dry up and people have to get water from bad sources. Pupils suffer the most because the school also gets hard hit due to inadequacy of water storage facilities."
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.
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.
Two triple-door latrines will be constructed with local materials that the school will help gather. 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.
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.