This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water And Sanitation Forum. Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).
Ebwiranyi Secondary School was started by the Luanda Town Council in 2008. There are now 200 children enrolled at Ebwiranyi Secondary School. There are 12 teachers and four supplementary staff, including cooks and security guards.
The students begin with morning exercise before classes start at 8:00 am. They have three lessons in the morning then go on break. After break, they return for two more classes before lunch at 12:45 pm. They return to school at 2 pm for more lessons. After the afternoon classes, it is game time as they wait for the school day to close at 5 pm.
In 2015, we implemented a project at Ebwiranyi Primary School. The principal there was so pleased with the results that he referred the organization to the headteacher of Ebwiranyi Secondary School.
The Current Source
The school lacks adequate, safe water to serve its huge population, having only one 8000-liter plastic rainwater catchment tank on site. As a result, students are asked to carry drinking and cleaning water from home. Not even the water from home provides enough for daily use, so students are also constantly being sent to go in search of extra water.
Thus, students from this school often resort to an unprotected spring under .5 km away. Students carry 5 and 10 liter jerrycans to the spring to fetch water for drinking, cleaning classrooms, and other domestic chores at the school. Most of the jerrycans don't have covers, but are kept relatively clean; students and teachers use ash and leaves to keep the inside free of grime. Once they get the water back to school, they store it in traditional covered pots that are known for keeping water clean and cool. Students and staff also know to filter or boil the water before drinking.
The unprotected spring's water is contaminated by surface runoff, human and animal activity, open defication and soil erosion. Even if the water is treated back at the school, students and staff still suffer from water-related diseases. Water shortage has also contributed to time wastage that would otherwise be used for study purposes, it distracts students and staff from their intended roles. “Discipline has deteriorated among our students because as they walk long distances in search of water, they are exposed to other community members who have successfully lured some of them into unhealthy relationships,” the school principal recounted to WEWASAFO staff. “The worst of the cases have been when some of the girls end up being pregnant. These scenarios have resulted to poor performance in school and loss of morals amongst the affected students."
The school has a total of five VIP latrines, and two of these are set aside for staff. Though girls share latrines with the primary section of the school, this is still only one latrine per 32 boys. Imagine the lines to use these latrines during school recesses! And even though there is a dire sanitation facility shortage, students and staff nonetheless keep these five latrines in great condition. However, there are no hand-washing stations set up outside of latrines or anywhere else in the school compound. Garbage is disposed of in a compost pit.
Both students and staff are looking forward to this project. They are willing to dig the holes for the new VIP latrines and gather as many local materials (hardcore, sand, bricks, etc.) as they can. Locals will also provide food and security for the construction team when they are on site. The school management committee, teachers and select student leaders are excited to participate in hygiene and sanitation training held at the school.
Training Session Plans
Training 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.
Plans are to build one 30,000-liter rainwater catchment tank within the school compound. This tank will collected enough water during the rainy seasons to provide 100% of the student body with water throughout the year. Six new VIP (ventilated improved pit) latrines will also be built, three for girls and three for boys. Since no hand-washing stations were observed during the initial survey, two will be installed during the course of this project. These stations are 250-liter tanks fit with taps. The CTC club will be responsible for making sure these washing facilities are maintained.
Project Results: Training
The CTC health and hygiene training for Ebwiranyi Secondary School was held within the school compound from February 9-10. Participants included the Deputy Principle, a school board member, the three teachers in charge of school sanitation, all grade one and two students. A total number of 45 people attended the training of which 22 were males and 23 were females.
Students were eager to learn about how to promote good health among their peers and families. They also had the opportunity to practice hand-washing together and learn about its ten steps.
The purpose of training was to equip participants with relevant skills on forming and running a CTC health club on their school campus. This club will be charged with the responsibility of promoting good hygiene practices in both their school and villages in order to reduce waterborne disease.
The students and teachers are now equipped with relevant information on water, sanitation and hygiene. This will greatly help motivate the CTC club and students to practice hygiene and share it with others.
Project Results: Rainwater Catchment Tank and VIP Latrines
Construction of the six new VIP latrines is complete, and they are now in use by students. Two more hand-washing stations were installed in a convenient location so that students have the chance to wash hands after using the latrines.
The construction of a 30,000-liter tank began on January 30. The work team began by clearing the site of any brush or debris. Once clear, they could set and cast the foundation slab. Construction of the superstructure could follow, and was finished by covering it with a roof. Manholes, pipe inlets, discharge pipes, vents, and screens were then fitted. Lastly, proper drainage was ensured.
The only challenge during this entire process was the mobilization of sand. Procuring the sand was reliant on community members who struggled to keep up with demand, but this short delay was not a big issue. Now that the tank is complete, students and the greater community are very happy and grateful about the results. Principal Otenyo said, "The community at large is very happy and excited to have the facilities in the school. This has changed the face of the school and even encouraged the students to attend school since they were sharing the facilities with the neighboring school which was affecting the students in their performance."
Time previously wasted by pupils will now be utilized for studies, and hence their performance will be improved. After training, the school immediately established their CTC health club which also includes three teachers.
The governor is already making arrangements with the school to hold a handover ceremony this month. He is extremely happy and appreciative of TWP and WEWASAFO's support for Ebwiranyi School in Vihiga County, and has even promised to give the school an extra one million Kenyan shillings to supplement all of this good work.
Thank You for your generosity that makes all of this possible!