Students at Imbale Mixed Secondary School wake up by 5:30am to get ready for school. When cleaned and dressed, they go to different places to fetch water for school.
When they get to school, they have an hour's study hall before they split into groups for cleaning chores. Normal classes begin at 8am and go until lunch. Afternoon classes begin again at 2pm and go until game and club hour.
The school opened in 1989 and started with just 10 students. It's grown to 300 students, of which 177 are girls and 133 are boys. The school employs 19 teachers.
The school's only water source is a plastic tank connected to a gutter that collects rainwater. It can hold 5,000 liters of water when full. There's a smaller 3,000-liter tank that the students use for water storage. The rainwater tank empties quickly, which often leaves the school looking for an alternative water source.
Students must carry water with them to school every morning, which is used for drinking, cooking, and cleaning purposes. Administration officials can't verify the quality of different sources students go to. One of the most popular places is a protected spring a few hundred meters from the school.
However, students often find this protected spring already crowded by community members. To save time, students will resort to other dirty sources. But just one container of dirty water contaminates the entire storage tank. As a result, students and staff sometimes miss school because of typhoid.
Students need to go back out into the community to find more water, when the water carried in the morning isn't enough to get through the day. The water shortage costs these students both their time and their good health.
There are 11 pit latrines, but they're all almost full. Because of poor conditions, students prefer other less smelly, private locations. Some students admit to going behind school buildings rather than waiting in line. There are no handwashing stations, either.
"Our school's facilities are in poor condition, leading to poor hygiene to both the teachers and the students," Principal Rabbeca Kuya said.
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.
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 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 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. 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. These higher standards will translate to better health which will unlock the potential for higher academic achievement.
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.