Bushili Secondary School was opened by community members who donated their own land in hopes of getting their children an education. The school has grown to have a population of 300 students. There are 15 total teachers, with most of them employed by the Teachers' Service Commission (TSC). There are also eight support staff who help things run smoothly.
The people living in Bushili are hardworking people, waking up very early to make sure their students get something to eat before they head off to school. Students need to be at school by 6:30am for morning study hall. There's a break for cleaning chores before normal classes start at 8am.
Getting water is a great challenge with the school only having one plastic tank that collects rainwater. The water available in this tank is greatly controlled because so that students have drinking water whenever they need it. Such a low capacity for water has forced the school to sacrifice sanitation and hygiene standards.
As the water in the plastic tank is used up, they have to wait for more rain. In the meantime, students are sent out to the government borehole drilled at Bushili Market. These trips are frequent, for Deputy Headteacher Wanyama reports that a full 20-liter jerrycan is used immediately - there's no time to dump it in the large plastic tank. People living near the borehole report that it hasn't been treated since it was first drilled, either.
Mr. Wanyama added, "Cases of waterborne diseases here have been rampant. Not only to our students but also to our teachers. Even me personally, I was diagnosed of typhoid due to taking unsafe water. If we get a 50,000-liter tank, waterborne diseases will be something of the past."
The school has still done their best to keep the environment clean without enough water. The grounds are clear of litter, and classrooms are tidy. However, they'll greatly benefit from having more water available to rinse latrines.
But most importantly, these students need more latrines. There are only two working pit latrines shared among 153 boys! There are a few more for girls, and two set aside for teachers. Mr. Wanyama admitted that he's been summoned to the chief's office several times because the boys have been sneaking into neighboring sugarcane plantations to relieve themselves.
There are no handwashing stations for students to wash up at after using the latrines.
What we can do:
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 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.
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 for mixing cement. Once finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff. Students will no longer have to ration water and make frequent trips into the community.
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.