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The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Smiles While Easily Drawing Water To Drink
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Striking A Pose While Getting A Drink
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Getting A Fresh Drink
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Head Teacher Mutende With Pupils At The Water Point
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  A Girl Getting Water For Cleaning From The Tank
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Pupils Celebrate The Tank
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Water Flowing From The Tap
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  The New Water Point
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  The Gents With Head Teacher Mutende And A Handwashing Station
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  The Ladies With Head Teacher Mutende And A Handwashing Station
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Big Smiles At The Handwashing Station
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  A Boy Using The Handwashing Station
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Smiles In Front Of New Latrines
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Smiles In Front Of New Latrines
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  I Definitely Heard Someone Say Pose
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Happy To Be Here With New Latrines
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  The Gents With Big Smiles At Their New Latrines
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Girls Pose In Front Of New Latrines
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  The Girls At Their New Latrines
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Head Teacher Edward Mutende
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Students Pose For A Picture Witb Training Booklets
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Students Demonstrate Handwashing
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Carolyne Demonstrates Handwashing
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Learning Handwashing Steps
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Pupils And Facilitators
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  A Student Demonstrates Toothbrushing
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Dental Hygiene Session
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Mary Trains On Dental Hygiene
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Carolyne Leads Discussion On Open Defecation And Urination Using Diagram
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Trainer Carolyne Teaches Hygiene And Sanitation Using Diagrams
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Training On Life Skills
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Training On Life Skills
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  A Facilitator Joins A Group Discussion
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Mary Afandi Conducting The Training
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Students Brainstorm Good Hygiene Behaviors With Trainer Carolyne
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Students Take Notes At Training
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Facilitator Mary Takes Participants Through Wash Objectives
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Latrine Wall Construction
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Digging And Measuring Latrine Pits
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Pupils Carry Poles To Insert For Dome Support
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Water Drawing Point Construction
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Knitting Sacks Onto Wire For Dome Construction
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Plasterwork
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Casting Outside Of The Tank
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Outer Ceme T And Plasterwork
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Plaster On Pillars Dries
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Casting Pillars Inside The Tank
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Sugar Bags Tied Around Tank
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Sifting Sand
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Truck Delivers Clean Sand For Tank Construction
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Parents Bring Water From The River For Construction Work
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Hardware And Cement Ready For Use
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Water Storage Containers In The Kitchen
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Board Of Management Chair Mr David Barasa
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Indoor And Outdoor Classrooms
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Students In Class Outside
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Classrooms
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  School Cook At The Dishrack
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Washing The Drinking Cups
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Kitchen
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Food Cooking Inside Kitchen
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  School Farm And Garbage Disposal
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Students On The Playground
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Surrounding Landscape
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Students In Class
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Students In Class
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Students In Class
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Boys At Their Latrines
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Girls Line Up At Their Latrines
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  School Staff At Work In The Staffroom
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Head Teacher Mr Edward Mutende
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Students Head To Collect Water
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Students Head To Collect Water
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Students Collecting Water
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Students Fetch Water Alongside Community Member
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Time To Head Back To School
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Students Carrying Water
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Students Carrying Water
The Water Project: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School -  Water Storage At School

Project Status



Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 504 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



“This school urgently needs a reliable source of water so we can keep the pupils in school, instead of them spending time looking for water,” said Head Teacher of St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School, Mr. Benson Mutende.

There is no water at this school for its 490 students and 14 teachers and staff, which has been the case since the institution was established in 1990 by the Catholic Church. Each day, pupils are required to bring water from home to start the school day. Then, when the water runs out, they are sent to a protected spring in the village that is shared with community members.

The walk to the spring takes students – typically girls – through sugar plantations, which are notoriously risky as the dense crop can easily conceal people inches from the path. Because of their concern for the students’ safety, teachers are required to accompany the students to the spring each time. The process is time-consuming and tiresome for everyone involved and takes away precious class time. This daily chore, combined with the early morning walk from home carrying water, means students are often too tired to focus in class and their academic performance is suffering accordingly.

The distance of the school’s water sources is not the only trouble with them. The safety and quality of the water students collect is uncertain since they collect it from various sources in the morning. Their containers are not always clean either, so clean water can instantly be contaminated once they fetch it. Because the water is combined for use at school, even 1 contaminated source means everyone suffers. Waterborne illnesses are a common driver of absenteeism here, further hurting the students’ success.

The sanitation and hygiene situation here is also wanting.

“This school has few latrines which are not enough to match the school’s population,” said teacher Mrs. Gaudencia Khakai.

Without enough water to properly clean the latrines or for washing hands after using them, there is a vicious cycle of water-related diseases among the school population.

What we can do:

Rain Tank

A 75,000-liter rainwater catchment tank will help alleviate the water crisis at this school. The school will help collect the needed construction materials such as sand, bricks, rocks, and water for mixing cement. We will complement their materials by providing an expert team of artisans, tools, hardware, and the guttering system. Once finished, this tank will begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff for drinking, handwashing, cooking, cleaning, and much more.

We and the school strongly believe that all of these components will work together to improve standards at this school, which will help lead to better student academic performance and will help unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

Handwashing Stations

There is currently nowhere for students to wash their hands after using the latrines or before eating lunch, let alone the water to do so.

The student health club will oversee the 2 new handwashing stations we will provide, and make sure they are kept clean and in working condition. The club leaders will fill the handwashing stations with water daily and make sure they are always supplied with a cleaning agent such as soap or ash.

VIP Latrines

2 triple-door latrine blocks will be constructed with local materials that the school will help gather. 3 doors will serve the girls while the other 3 will serve the boys. All of these new latrines will have cement floors that are designed to be easy to use and to clean. And with a rain tank right on school property, there should be enough water to keep them clean.

Training

We will hold a 1-day intensive training on improved hygiene, health, and sanitation habits at this school. Our team of facilitators will use a variety of methods to train students and staff, including participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation (PHAST) and asset-based community development (ABCD). We will initiate a child-to-child (CTC) student health club, which will prepare students to lead other pupils into healthy habits at school and at home. We will also lead lectures, group discussions, and provide illustrative handouts to teach health topics and ways to promote good hygiene practices within the school. We will then conduct a series of follow-up trainings before transitioning to our regularly scheduled support visits throughout the year.

Project Updates


05/15/2020: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School Project Complete!

Please note, all photos in this report were taken before social distancing recommendations went into effect.

St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School in Kenya now has access to a new source of safe, clean water thanks to the completion of their rain tank, which has the ability to collect 75,000 liters of water! We installed new latrines and handwashing stations for students, and we trained students and staff on improved sanitation and hygiene practices. All of these components work together to unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

A student smiles while getting a fresh drink from the rain tank

“Sometimes we would go looking for water during class time, which would take a lot of time because we used the same spring with community members. Now I am glad we have reliable and safe water. I will concentrate on my studies and pass my examination,” said student David, who is a candidate for the national education examinations this year.

Striking a pose while fetching a drink from the rain tank

Teachers were just as excited as the students about the new rain tank on campus.

“First of all, I want to thank God for the facilities. Initially, pupils were bringing water from home, which was not safe for consumption. Now I am happy I have reliable, safe water at the school,” said Head Teacher Edward Mutende.

“Now that we have reliable water, the pupils will not waste time looking for water, and they will concentrate on their studies and academics. We will achieve high grades.”

Head Teacher Edward Mutende at the rain tank with pupils

While Kenyan schools remain closed until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these new water and sanitation facilities will be ready and waiting for the students’ return.

Rain Tank

Construction for this 75,000-liter rain tank was successful!

Before schools closed, parents, staff, and students helped our artisans gather everything needed for construction. All the while, the school cooks and community members prepared meals for the artisans, and the school provided accommodations for the artisans during their work. Local women and men helped our artisans with their manual labor, too.

Parents of students helped deliver locally available materials for construction, including water for mixing cement.

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 rain tank. This needed to be the best site with enough land and a nearby building with good, clean roofing to catch the rainwater.

Community members volunteering as laborers helping to sift sand

Then, we cleared the site by excavating the soil to make level ground for the tank foundation. The foundation was cast by laying big stones on the level ground and reinforcing them using steel wire, concrete, and waterproof cement. We affixed both the drawing pipe and the drainage pipe as we laid the foundation.

Outer walls temporarily lined with sugar sacks

Next, we formed the outer walls using a skeleton of rebar and wire mesh with sugar sacks temporarily tied to the outside as backing. This skeleton was attached to the foundation’s edges so that the work team could start the Ferro-cementing process, in which the walls are layered with cement alternating with the inner and outer side until 6 layers of cement are in place. (We remove the sugar sacks once the interior receives its first 2 layers of cement.)

Working on interior walls and pillar cement

Inside the tank, we cast 1 central and 4 support pillars to ensure the dome does not cave in once cemented. Meanwhile, we plastered the inner wall while roughcasting the outer walls. Outside of the tank, the access area to the tap was dug, plastered, and a short staircase installed, along with a soak pit where spilled water can drain from the access area through the ground. This helps to keep the tap area dry and tidy.

Interior plasterwork dries

Dome construction could begin after the tank walls had been given enough time to settle. Using similar techniques as used on the walls, the dome started as rebar, wire mesh, and sugar sacks and was attached to the tank walls before receiving cement and plaster. A small manhole cover was built into the dome to allow access for future cleanings and water treatments.

Exterior plasterwork

Long wooden poles (about 75 of them!) were placed inside the tank to support the dome while it cured. A lockable manhole cover was fitted over the tap area, the gutters were affixed to the roof and the tank, and an overflow pipe was set in place at the edge of the dome for when the tank reaches capacity.

Pupils helped carry the long wooden poles inserted to support the tank’s dome while drying

Once finished, the rain tank was given 3-4 weeks to undergo complete curing. Finally, the interior support poles and dome sugar sacks were removed, the tank was cleaned, and we waited as rain filled the tank with fresh water. When there was a sufficient volume in the tank, we treated the water and we officially handed it over to St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School.

Tying sugar sacks to wire for dome skeleton while pupils play during a break from classes

As soon as it was ready, students and staff celebrated the presence of clean water on campus. The event was a great chance for us to acknowledge the school administration and students as the primary parties entrusted with the tools we have given, as well as remind them of our continued support as they develop. Happiness, thanksgiving, and appreciation were the order of the day flowing in all directions.

Pupils celebrate the new rain tank

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of 6 new ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines, half for girls and half for boys.

Girls stand with their new latrines

All of these new latrines have cement floors that are designed to be easy to use and clean, locking doors for safety and privacy, and vents designed to keep air flowing up and out through the roof. With a rain tank right on school property, there should be enough water to keep them clean.

Boys pose with big smiles in front of their new latrines

Handwashing Stations

The 2 handwashing stations were set up during training and handed over to the student health club. These were placed outside of the girls’ and boys’ latrines to encourage handwashing after latrine use.

 

Girls with Head Teacher Mutende and a handwashing station

Health club members will teach other students how to properly wash their hands at the stations, make sure the stations are filled with water, and work to ensure that there is always a cleaning agent such as soap or ash available.

A boy uses a handwashing station

New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was scheduled with the help of the school Head Teacher Edward Mutende, 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. When the training day arrived, lead facilitator Mary Afandi deployed to the site with a team of trainers.

Trainer Mary walks students through the project’s water access, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) objectives at training

20 students attended training, which was held outside under the shade thanks to the trees on the school’s compound. The pupils had high expectations and an eagerness to learn, contributing to the strong turnout and level of participation throughout the training.

A facilitator gives a talk on life skills at training

We covered a number of topics including personal hygiene such as bathing, oral hygiene, and the 10 steps of handwashing; environmental hygiene; child rights; operation and maintenance of the rain tank, latrines, and handwashing stations; and leadership and governance. During the latter, the students elected their peers to lead their newly formed student health club.

Students show off their short nails as they hold out their hands to mimic the 10 steps of handwashing

Because we held this training when the spread of COVID-19 was still in its early stages and was not yet worldwide, this was not a topic we covered. Since then, however, we have developed trainings exclusively on COVID-19 prevention and awareness – see for yourself what we’ve been up to more recently as we continue to fight COVID-19 on the frontlines in all of the communities we serve.

Trainer Carolyne walks students through the 10 handwashing steps

The student health club will be greatly involved in the water, sanitation, and hygiene project management at school and will be responsible for encouraging good health and hygiene practices amongst their peers, teachers, and the larger community. We involved stretches, dances, and physical activities in between each topic to keep the pupils’ energy up and their minds active. By the end of the training, each pupil understood their role in sustaining clean water and good health within their school community.

Students take turns practicing and teaching the handwashing steps with a new handwashing station

Covering all of the water access, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) Objectives at the beginning of the training was particularly memorable to the trainers as the pupils were shocked to learn that our team routinely builds such big rain tanks and latrines at schools all over Kenya. The topics on the maintenance of the new water and sanitation facilities was also special because the pupils said they had learned a lot of things which they would use at their homes.

Girls pose in front of their new latrines

“The training was valuable to me. The knowledge I have gained I will use it also at home and any place I will be,” said student Rose.

Boys smile in front of their new latrines

When an issue arises concerning the water project, the students and teachers are equipped with the necessary skills to rectify the problem and ensure the water point works appropriately. However, if the issue is beyond their capabilities, they can contact our team of field officers to assist them. In addition, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our ongoing monitoring and maintenance program.

Thank you for making all of this possible!


The Water Project : 48-kenya20128-pupils-celebrate-the-tank


04/08/2020: St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at St. Michael Mukongolo Primary School drains students’ time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this school through the introduction and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good news!


The Water Project : 24-kenya20128-students-carrying-water-4


Project Photos


Project Type

Rainwater Catchment

Rainwater is collected off strategic areas of a roof, enters a custom guttering system (which filters out debris) and leads to a storage tank. Tanks can vary in sizes and are determined by population and average rainfall patterns. Water can be stored for months, is easily treated in the tank, and is accessible through taps. These projects are implemented at schools with proper roof lines and gutter systems to make them successful.


Contributors

Miller Family Charitable Fund
The Clorox Company
Total Quality Logistics
Cardinal Health
9 individual donor(s)