August, 2019: Imanga Secondary School Project Complete!
A new rainwater catchment system was built! Imanga Secondary School in Kenya now has a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your support. Handwashing stations were installed, and students and staff have received training in sanitation and hygiene.
Rainwater Catchment Tank
Construction for this 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank was successful!
Parents, staff, and students helped our artisans gather everything needed for construction. All the while, women cooked meals for the artisans, and the school provided accommodations for the artisans during their work. Local men and women helped our artisans with their manual labor, too.
Bringing water for construction
The process officially began with our staff and school administration looking around the school compound to try and determine the best location for a new rainwater catchment tank. This needed to be the best site with good, clean roofing to catch the rainwater.
Then, we cleared the site: excavating the soil within the required measurements to make level ground for the tank foundation. The foundation was cast by laying hardcore on level ground and then reinforcing it using steel, concrete and waterproof cement.
Tank foundation underway
Both the drawing pipe as well as the washout pipe were affixed as the foundation was laid. The wall was built with ferro-cement techniques through six layers. The inner wall was plastered while rough casting was done on the outer part. Finally, the catchment area was dug, plastered, and a staircase installed.
Cementing rain tank walls
Dome construction could begin after the superstructure had been given enough time to settle. The manhole cover was fitted, inlet pipes were connected to the roof gutters, inlet screens, ventilation pipes (breathers) and overflow pipes were all done to standard.
Inside the tank
Once finished, the tank was given three to four weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Imanga Secondary School, though we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program.
The opening ceremony for the tank was a great chance for us to acknowledge the school administration and students as the primary parties entrusted with the tools we’ve given, as well as remind them of our continued support as they develop.
18-year-old student Clinton Owuor was excited to share his thoughts on the project while we were there.
“We will no longer queue at the [seasonal] hand-dug well, pulling water [out] from the dark hole, which we are [never] sure if the water is safe for consumption [because it is near a toilet]," he said.
"For a long time now, we can smile as we wash our utensils and drink the water directly from the tap, what a privilege to have such a facility! Thank you so much.”
At Imanga Secondary, the students will no longer have to wait in long lines just to use the bathroom, and girls will no longer feel tired drawing water from the seasonal hand-dug well. Instead, all students are now able to open the rain tank tap and fetch water without wasting any precious school time.
Both the school’s Head Teacher and the Board of Management were so thankful to our team for the great work at this school.
"It’s like a miracle to us to have such expensive facilities in the school. Many organizations promised to help our school to do such projects but all was in vain," said the Head Teacher.
"Thank you so much...for touching [the] lives of many communities and schools in western Kenya, may our almighty God bless you.”
This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines. All of these new latrines have cement floors that are easy to use and clean. And with a rainwater catchment tank, there should be enough water to keep them clean all the time.
Completed girls' latrines
Completed boys' latrines
The two handwashing stations were delivered to the school and handed over to the Child to Child (CTC) health club. These were placed outside of the boys’ and girls’ latrines to encourage handwashing after latrine use.
Handwashing station ready for use
CTC club members teach other students how to properly wash their hands at the stations, and make sure there is always soap or ash available. Now the school has the stations they need, and they have the water to fill them.
Handwashing station ready for use
Hygiene and sanitation training was scheduled with the help of the school principal, Mr. Were Benson, who ensured that the training date would be convenient for students, staff, and parent representatives. Individual teachers helped by selecting students from each class to represent the others.
Answering a question during training
27 students attended training, which took place in one of the school’s classrooms. The room was quiet and conducive for training because there were no other students and teachers around. The weather was a mix of sun, clouds, and wind.
The attendance was as expected numerically, but there were more boys than girls. The boys were available because they were practicing and preparing for ball games, so the Head Teacher told them to carry along their uniforms during the day that the training was scheduled to take place. He forgot that the girls were not among the team, so it forced the games teacher, who is also the sanitation teacher, to send some boys to go and notify the girls about the training. They managed to get four girls who could avail themselves to attend the training.
A number of topics were covered, including personal hygiene such as bathing, oral hygiene, and handwashing with soap as a barrier from germs; operation and maintenance of the new facilities, with each person understanding their role for long-lasting clean water and good health. The new CTC health club will be greatly involved in project management and will be responsible for encouraging good health and hygiene practices amongst their peers, teachers, and the larger community.
The attendees were very active, and both boys and girls were ready to learn more new ideas from the instructors at every turn. Abel Musango, one of the students, praised the techniques used by our team to ensure that the new project is maintained. Abel promised to tell other students to take care of all the facilities in the school as well because it will serve more generations to come if maintained well.
During the Leadership, Gender and Governance session, the participants were able to describe who a leader is and the qualities that any leader should have. They were then able to name the qualities of a good leader and described what a leader is expected to do when given a leadership position. After this discussion, the girls were more ready and willing to take the CTC club leadership positions than the boys, and the boys admitted that girls can be better leaders than boys.
Completed girls' latrines
Once the CTC club was formed, we recognized that the students needed some extra time to think about and find ways they can use their club to better their school community. We talked about how they might work on acquiring some entrepreneurial skills to start a project which will help earn the money needed to purchase soap and tissues for use in the school latrines and additional soap for handwashing.
They adopted the concept of handwashing immediately, and we trust they are continuing to come up with ideas on how to use their club to the fullest extent.
Mr. Christopher Shihundu, a Parent-Teacher Association Representative for Imanga Secondary School, reflected on his experiences and observations from the training.
“The training session has been so educative to both boys and girls. Having been taught about [project] maintenance, I am very sure that from today the classrooms and the toilets will be kept clean. Learning about water, sanitation, and hygiene will [help] make the students stay in a good, clean, and desirable environment," he said.
"Thank you so much...for the work well done, you are a blessing to this generation and even the future generation to come.”
Boys washing dishes using water from the tank
Thank you for making all of this possible!