There is no reliable and safe source of water to meet the needs of the 1,075 students attending St. Francis Majengo Primary School.
In an effort to provide water on school grounds, they dug an open well. However, they dug this during one of the rainier months, and ended up not going deep enough. There’s no water in the well when it hasn’t rained recently. This problem is amplified by the fact that the school population suddenly increased.
Recently, the government made an effort to bring services closer to the people. To do this, they decided to increase the number of sub-counties. In Kakamega County, 13 sub-counties were created, Lugari being one of them. Lumakanda Center was picked to be the headquarters. This led to a sudden increase in population and social amenities as well. This is how Francis Majengo Primary School grew so drastically in enrollment and became an important school in this region.
The school has a big parcel of land, so they went ahead and donated three acres to establish a secondary school, too.
It is also risky for the pupils, especially the youngest ones, to draw water from an open well using a rope tied to a container. And because it’s an open well, it’s completely open to contamination.
The well is meant for both the primary and secondary section. It is inadequate and cannot meet the demand for water in both schools.
"Water is life, and without it, learning cannot go on in a school. We use water for cleaning, cooking and drinking. Hygiene standards in school are not as good as we would want them to be and we are grateful that this is soon coming to an end," said Teacher Michael Indimuli.
What we can do:
Clean water is very important, but poor water handling and storage can negatively impact the quality of drinking water. We train students to ensure that water is safe for drinking and good hygiene is practiced at all times.
Training on good hygiene habits 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.
14 latrines are shared with the new secondary school, which puts a ton of pressure on the facilities. They are overused and get filthy very fast.
St. Francis Majengo was served with a closure notice due to poor sanitation. If things aren’t addressed properly, they’ll have to shut their gates next semester.
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 1,075 students and their teachers. While this many students may have access on any given day, realistically a single water source can only fully support a population of 350-500 people. This school would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so that adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.
We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. These higher standards will translate to better academic performance!