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
Maiani Primary School is one the oldest schools in the community. It has a big population of 411, and thus requires a large amount of water for daily use. Each day, the school needs at least 4500 liters in order to fully take care of cooking, cleaning, and drinking. However, the school is only able to get 2000 liters each day.
Maiani Primary was selected for a project because of a recommendation from the Nzengu Ngomani A Self-Help Group which is already working with ASDF. The group members send their children to this primary school, and so the needs of the school and its students also affect this group of farmers. The desire to solve water insecurity goes beyond the household level to the community level!
The main source of water for Maiani Primary is the 2000 liters collected by the student body. Since students come from many different places, it is impossible to pinpoint a primary water source. Each student is expected to bring at least 5 liters of water. Failure to do so results in a student being sent back home to fetch that water, or else they will not be allowed to attend class. Many students feel this is a form of punishment, and thus stay away from school to avoid being sent back home in the first place.
The school uses the collected water for cleaning and cooking purposes. The school also has a 10,000-liter water tank which they use to catch rainwater. Unfortunately, even if this tank is full, it is not sufficient to meet the school's needs.
Maiani Primary School has 18 pit latrines, but they are all old and almost full. There is a terrible odor, and the boys' doors are falling apart. The boys have no privacy when they wish to use the latrine!
No hand-washing stations were observed during our initial visit. The school has several compost pits in central areas, and burns the garbage to keep the pits from overflowing. Without proper sanitation facilities, students suffer both physically and academically. Teacher Jonathan Mbithu says that the female students "struggle with confidence and esteem issues... due to lack of adequate water and clean sanitation rooms."
The only emphasis on sanitation and hygiene is made in the classroom, with little practical activity. The children only understand the basics of brushing your teeth every morning or washing your body daily, but it is just knowledge. There has been a disconnect between knowing and doing.
Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training
The facilitator will hold training for one day at the school compound. This will involve students and some of their teachers. CHAST (Children’s Hygiene and Sanitation Training) will be used to teach personal hygiene and how to handle the new rainwater catchment tank. There will be a huge emphasis on how and when to wash hands.
Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank
The tank is projected to have a volume of 105,000 liters. The community has already begun collecting the local materials used for construction, such as stone and sand.
Plans: Hand-Washing Stations
Four hand-washing stations will be delivered before training, so that they can be used for demonstration and practice. Each is a 2500-liter plastic tank fitted with a tap. The school management will ensure that there is always water in the tank and that the taps are working.