This project is a part of our shared program with Africa Sand Dam Foundation. Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).
Welcome to the School
Kavumbu Secondary School is located in a area where water shortage is persistently an issue. Lack of water has affected school enrollment as students reportedly drop out of school due to the lack of sanitation and basic facilities. The girl child is affected the most, as basic sanitation issues greatly affect her personal hygiene. Various organizations have tried to implement hygiene programs in the community, and the government has contributed finances to channel water from the area's main river sources. However, frequent breakdowns make these systems unreliable.
The school was selected by parents and self-help group members who are doing other projects with ASDF. Consultations with the school management committee resulted in our decision to build the school a rainwater catchment tank. With the tank, the school hopes to boost academic performance and student enrollment.
Since Kavumbu Secondary doesn't have a reliable water source on school grounds, they are forced to seek other solutions. The school has boarding facilities for 176 students; 92 girls and 84 boys. The school must buy water from a borehole which is 14 kilometers away from the school! The school incurs a bill of 5000 Kenyan shillings per water-fetching trip. Such a large water bill results in raised tuition fees.
The school is also connected to a water pipeline that sources from one of the area's main rivers. Even though the pipeline is unreliable, the school is still charged 10,000 shillings. Alternatively, the school can hire donkeys to go fetch water directly from the river. All of these options incur extra costs that have pushed school fees to an all-time high. Households that scrape together funds to pay for their children's education are suffering.
The school has a 10,000-liter plastic reservoir tank used to store water meant for cooking and drinking. In a day, the school needs an average of 2000 liters of water. Due to these strains, the school has challenges in maintaining a clean environment.
Children report cases of stomachache and diarrhea during the dry periods when the school has to rely on various different water sources. Since there is only a limited amount of water, the school has to ration the amount of water each student consumes per day. The low water rations have affected personal hygiene, especially the hygiene of boarders. With these conditions, the health and academic performance of all students are poor.
Kavumbu Secondary School has 14 pit latrines that teachers and students try their best to keep clean. However, this is difficult without enough water to do the job well. There are six bathing rooms for the boarders, but no hand-washing stations. There are a few clotheslines and dish racks for boarders to dry their belongings. The school has an open pit for disposing of garbage. School attendants burn the pit's contents to keep it from overflowing.
All of the teaching and emphasis on hygiene happens in the classroom. There is minimal practice or enforcement of hygiene and sanitation outside the classroom. We believe this all results from a lack of water.
Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training
That's why students and teachers will greatly benefit from hygiene and sanitation training. The facilitator will hold training for one day at the school compound. This will involve students, teachers, and parents. CHAST (Children’s Hygiene and Sanitation Training) will be used to teach personal hygiene and how to handle the new rainwater catchment tank. A highlight of the training session will be how to wash hands the right way!
The school will also be trained on how to form a school health club which will be responsible for in promoting hygiene and sanitation in the school. The school will also be expected to periodically clean the tank to prevent water contamination. The school management will ensure that water treatment is enforced.
Plans: Tank Construction
We are planning for a 105,000-liter rainwater catchment tank on school grounds. Parents have already begun gathering local materials that can be used in tank construction!
We also plan to deliver hand-washing stations before training so that they can be used for demonstrations and practice.