Ichinga Muslim Primary School does not have a source of water on school grounds. Students must leave class to get water from the community where they share a well. The school administration also requires that students carry water each morning and during lunch break to minimize class disruptions.
It's a lot of work to fill the containers at the community well. The India Mark pump on the well is functional but the yield is low, and students have to pump for a long time. By the time they return to class they are worn out from pumping and carrying water.
"Inadequate clean water makes us students fall sick every time, forcing us to stay away from school to seek medication, which affects our academic performance," said 13-year-old Abdul.
Ichinga Muslim Primary School started in 1998 for 50 early education students. They were soon supported by the Mumias County Council which built four classrooms for the school. The parents provided desks and paid the teachers. Since then, the school has students in every grade with a population of 1,072 pupils - all who would greatly benefit from a source of clean water on school grounds.
What we can do:
One thing they are doing right is that they have handwashing facilities, but they are too far away from the latrines. The biggest area for needed improvement is with latrine hygiene. They really need to be cleaned twice a day using the available disinfectants. The school has no dish rack and students put their plates inside their desks where they also put their books.
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.
"Our toilets are dirty in most afternoons because we only clean them in the morning. They are always smelling too bad in that when you get out of them you carry the smell away with you for some time," said 13-year-old Amisa.
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.
We will deliver two handwashing stations 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.
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 for mixing 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. These higher standards will translate to better academic performance!