Students waste a lot of valuable time that is meant for their studies looking for water. Some students avoid this responsibility and stay away from school altogether. Waterborne diseases such as typhoid and amoeba are common, and parents cannot afford to take their children for treatment.
Mukunyuku RC Primary School started in 1985 when two parents donated parcels of their land to be used for building the school. In 1988, the Ministry of Education took over management. The school started as a nursery school and eventually grew into a full school. It is sponsored by a church located about six kilometers away. It currently has a total enrollment of 765.
The school currently has 10 classrooms where they teach English, Kiswahili, sciences, social studies, and religious studies. The playing field is very rocky, but the children still use it. They have a mud-walled kitchen. Here, the school cook prepares lunch for grades seven and eight so that they can stay longer to prepare for the high school entrance exam. Students' parents bring donations of maize and beans for their children's lunch.
Students arrive around 6:30am with a water container and their textbooks. The water is used for cooking and cleaning later in the day.
If students need more water, they go to a hand-dug well shared between the school and surrounding households.
"Our well does not give us sufficient water to drink. We use the water pupils bring," said Headteacher Kennedy Wesonga.
If there's water, it is pulled out through a hatch using a bucket and rope system, which is dangerous for students as they lean over the opening. The students try to draw drinking water from this open well sooner than later because it becomes muddier with continuous use.
What we can do:
Rainwater Catchment Tank
A 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank is the best intervention for Mukunyuku RC Primary School. Pupils will be able to concentrate on their studies and avoid conflicts with community members over the well water. The children will no longer have to carry containers of water to school every morning since they will have enough on school grounds.
"It is difficult to access the latrines... because they are near full and smell so bad," said Connex Akinyi.
"I also fear it may collapse while I am using it."
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 will have enough to keep these new latrines clean.
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.
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. They will also be ambassadors for hygiene and sanitation among their peers at school and families at home.