This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water and Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO). Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).
Welcome to the School
St. Theresa’s Musaa Primary School is located in a slum area within the municipality of Kakamega town. The poverty index of the residents is very high thus resulting in minimal community financial support to the school. Most of the residents of Musaa village are small scale business people and casual labors at construction sites in Kakamega town and its environs. A normal day for the school involves learning with breaks including lunch and recess.
The school is a public mixed day primary school located in Musaa village, Shirere sub‑location, Bukhungu location, Shirere ward, Lurambi sub‑county, Kakamega County. It was founded in the year 1960 under the sponsorship of the Catholic Church. This helped in reducing the distance which the pupils had to travel to the nearby Ikonyero and Irumbi primary schools and also to minimize dangers of the pupils traveling long distances across the slum to and from school. The school has a total population of 893 pupils; 451 being boys while 442 are girls. The total number of teachers in the school is 29, 6 being male and 20 female. There are also 4 support staff under the school’s employ; 2 security guards, a secretary and a cook.
(Editor's Note: While this many people may have access on any given day, realistically a single water source can only support a population of 350-500 people. This community would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)
The school had just received a statutory notice to abate nuisance from the ministry of health as a result of its poor WASH conditions. This led the head teacher (newly transferred to the school) to approach WEWASAFO with a letter of request for assistance. A baseline survey was conducted, need identified, and the school approved as a beneficiary for the project.
"We are very grateful that you took note of our request and came for a baseline survey, your support will be highly appreciated by the school as it is located within a slum with minimal community support due to the high poverty index in the community.'' said Mr. Bakari, the school's head teacher.
The school is in dire need as it has no water source or storage in the grounds, forcing the pupils to daily carry water from home to school, the water source remaining unknown. As a result the quality of the water brought by the pupils is questionable and open to contamination due to poor water handling practices along the way.
The students typically carry water in 5-10 liter jerrycans, and sometimes uncovered buckets. Once at the school, the water is stored in plastic drums in the school kitchen. The containers are not cleaned, only rinsed with water occasionally. Teachers at the school relate that the contaminated water often causes diseases like Typhoid, cholera, stomachaches, and diarrhea among the students.
The school has a total of 20 functional latrine doors and a urinal, 10 of these and the urinal serve the boys while 10 are for the girls. The 8‑door pit latrine for the boys is almost filled up. Comparing the population and the WHO standard of 25 girls per door and 30 boys per door, the school is still in need. These latrines are never cleaned with water as the supply is limited, so the floors are at times flooded with urine and are constantly smelly, which is a threat to the pupils’ health.
The school only has 1 hand washing facility which is solely for the teachers. The students have nowhere to wash hands after visiting the latrine and are thus exposed to infection by water related and water‑borne diseases.
Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training
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.
Some overall goals of training:
- Making education effective, meaningful, and life-oriented through provision of proper sanitation facilities
- Preparing children to solve day to day problems through practical application of life skills and knowledge
- Inspiring children with a sense of self-reliance and responsibility by spearheading health and hygiene promotion
- Improve knowledge, attitude, and practice of sanitation and hygiene
- Creating opportunities that promote healthy behaviors and attitudes
Plans: New Facilities
Plans are to build one 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank within the school compound. This tank will collect water during the rainy seasons to be used by the students and staff for the school day 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 60-liter tanks fit with taps. The CTC club will be responsible for making sure these washing facilities are maintained.
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.