"Lack of enough clean and safe water has been a thorn in the flesh. It has resulted in many problems that I am helpless about, and there's been nobody to salvage the situation. To some extent, I have felt lost and directionless as the school headteacher," said Headteacher John Amalemba on the water scarcity issue at Kwirenyi Secondary School.
The parents banded together to address water scarcity at Kwirenyi Secondary School, using their money to buy a plastic tank that collects rainwater. According to the parents, the school is still in dire need clean and safe water. This plastic tank is far too small to meet the needs of their boarding students, so students have to leave school to find water.
There is a large river that students most often walk to get their water. There is another small stream, but both of these sources are at least a kilometer away. The stream goes dry at certain times too, so the river is the only reliable water source.
This river has a lot of pollution coming from upstream. The current is also strong and poses a huge risk to students who cannot swim. These sources are so far away that the school has purchased donkeys to help ferry the large containers of water filled by the students.
Many students have reported waterborne diseases like typhoid. These students miss class and must return home to seek treatment. Because of several missed classes, overall academic performance at the school is very poor. The final consequence is parents pulling their children from Kwirenyi Secondary School.
Kwirenyi Secondary School was established in the year 2009 to ensure that children get access to education, have a bright future, and invest in developing Kwirenyi Community. The school has grown from only a handful of students to 437. All the while, Kwirenyi has done what it can to get by with too little water and too few facilities.
The school has both day students and students who live in the dormitories on school grounds.
The school grounds are quite unique since the area is full of rocks. These rocks are used for construction causing the foundation laid strong. There is a playing field for the kids, but that's full of rocks too.
What we can do:
"People perish due to lack of information. I want to categorically say that hygiene and sanitation standards in my school are wanting. Lack of enough water and information scarcity has attributed to poor hygiene and sanitation in my school," said Teacher Duncan Lisamula.
We will hold training for two days. Our 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 handwashing 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.
There are only four latrine doors for each gender. That means there are over 50 students per latrine door. The lines during class breaks are massive, and many of these students have to not only wait uncomfortably but arrive late to their next class.
We will construct two triple-door latrines. 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 our cement. 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, nor leave class again to find more.
We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. With clean water and high standards of cleanliness, students’ good health will give them the chance to earn better grades and live a better life.