Imusutsu High School is located in Mutsotso Village of Vihiga County, Kenya. With a population of 778 students, the school has endeavored to be a center for excellence in their society. But currently, the school is rated average in academics. The institution enjoys a good performance in extracurricular activities, emerging among the best schools in Vihiga County and also on a national level. '
'We attribute this to hard work and commitment of both teachers, students, and the entire community at large,'' Mrs. Jane Arunga, the PTA chairlady said.
However, a daily struggle with clean water scarcity has put a damper on this success.
The school has two 4,000-liter plastic tanks that collect rainwater. While these provide safe water to the students, they don't provide it for long. Thus, students go out into the community to find water. The go-to sources are most often open, polluted holes of water in the ground. This water is brought back and used to state thirst, but the consequences are unavoidable. Students are often absent as they deal with waterborne illnesses like typhoid.
"Water has been a challenge in the school, and this has affected the performance of our students as they spend much of their study time going to fetch the precious commodity," Mrs. Kavuludi reported.
"This is a dream come true for us. Once the project is installed in our institution, we know our students will have sufficient time to focus on their studies."
There are just 17 pit latrines on school grounds. This may sound like a lot of bathroom facilities, but it's not nearly enough to serve 778 young students. Without enough water on school grounds, the cleanliness of these latrines is sacrificed. There is a plastic container with a tap that's used for handwashing, but there's rarely enough water to keep it running. It will also be important for students and staff to begin using soap. If soap can't be afforded, then they should use ash.
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 handwashing 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 (edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.