St. Gerald's Shanjero Secondary School is located in Kakamega County, Kenya. There are 377 students enrolled here, of which 196 are boys and 181 are girls. The school employs 17 teachers and nine support staff.
School days begin early at 6am as students start trickling through the front gate. They're expected to meet in their separate classrooms for the assignment of cleaning chores like sweeping, picking up litter, and cleaning latrines. An hour's lunch is sandwiched by morning and afternoon classes.
The school is connected to an unreliable water pipeline, for which they pay 10,000 shillings a month. As parents encounter hardships and can't pay their children's school fees, the school struggles to pay bills. Times can get so hard that the school can't pay the bill for piped water. But even when they do, it's not uncommon for the system to break down for days at a time.
When the inevitable breakdown or unpaid month occurs, students must walk four kilometers away to the nearest water source. What's worse, is this water source is totally open to contamination. After drinking water from this spring, students suffer from stomachaches, headaches, and diarrhea - often forcing them to miss school.
The school has six latrines for each gender, but they boys' latrines are almost full. These latrines, including the girls' are in a poor state. Plus, the water crisis at this school forces them to prioritize water use; drinking is always more important than cleaning, and those priorities are obvious when inspecting the sanitation conditions.
There is one hand-washing station. Principal Kizito Ingabi said, "The health situation in our school is not good, since in most cases we consume dirty and unsafe water from a running stream. The inadequate water has also lowered the standards of hygiene in our school."
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. It will be up to the school to divide these six latrine doors between the students to make both boys and girls comfortable. 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 (edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.