The roads leading to Immaculate Heart Secondary School are so hard to travel. They're near impassible when it rains - the only way to get to the school is to walk or wait it out. It's a beautiful, rural area full of trees.
Immaculate Heart Secondary School opened in 2009. It started with very few students because many local parents did not see the importance of education, especially for the girls. The school has grown slowly each year and now has a total of 308 students with 16 teachers.
The school has some classrooms, a staff office, a kitchen, and latrines. Since there was no water on the property, the school hired people to dig a well. This well is covered by a hatch and students lower a bucket on a rope to get water. But according to the principal, this well dries up when it hasn't rained for a while.
Without water in the well, students leave school to find water. There is a spring out in the community, so the school hires a donkey cart that costs 1,000 shillings per day to to go fill containers with water and bring them back.
What's worse is that the school's primary source, the well, is entirely open to contamination as the hatch is opened and the bucket used to fetch water. Students get sick after drinking this water and have to stay home from school. But students also get sick when the school gets water from the community spring - so we believe that the water is mishandled as it's transported back on the donkey cart.
"I have always wished to receive a good Samaritan who will help curb so many problems experienced as a result of lack of sufficient clean and safe water. It breaks my heart to see students missing lessons as a result of consuming unsafe water," said Principal Wanjala.
"Also, seeing students' health deteriorating is a thorn in the flesh."
The government has directed all schools not to charge any extra fees for development, making it difficult for the school to implement any new projects.
What we can do:
"Hygiene and sanitation in this school is on the poor side and this is because of insufficient water supply and lack of enough information on proper ways to uplift better standards of hygiene and sanitation," said Teacher Collins.
We will hold training for two days. Our 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.
There are currently no handwashing stations on school grounds.
Two handwashing stations will be delivered to the school, and the CTC club will fill them with water on a daily basis and make sure there is always a cleaning agent such as soap or ash.
We will construct two triple-door latrines. 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 our 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. With clean water and high standards of cleanliness, students’ good health will give them the chance to earn better grades and live a better life.