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
Friends School Chegulo Primary was established in the year 1936 by the Friends Church, its sponsor. It is located in Chegulo Village, Mahusi sub-location, Chegulo location, Butali Chegulo Ward, Malava Sub-County, Kakamega County.
The school has both day and boarding sections that were established in the year 2010, which have a total population of 586 pupils. 315 of these are boys, 271 are girls. There is a special needs department which serves 33 boys and 23 girls, and an early childhood development department (ECD). The ECD has a total population of 70 pupils, 39 of which are boys and 31 girls. All departments combined, this puts the total student population at 792 students. The school employs 15 teachers, out of which 11 are employed by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), while four are PTA employees. There are six support staff: two watchmen, two cooks, one bursar and one matron who cater for the boarding students.
(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 school would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)
Being an agricultural region, most community members engage in sugarcane farming while the students are in school. The numerous plantations make for good scenery when viewed from the hilltops. Men tend to focus on their farms, and women focus on domestic chores such as fetching water from springs, washing, and cooking.
Students waste approximately an hour each school day to get water. The school has an electric borehole which is expensive for the school to maintain. They have to keep up on paying the electricity bill, which makes it unreliable. Even when the pump is working, it can barely serve the growing population of boarding students. Most of the time, pupils have to wait for a long time in line to fetch water. When the wait is too long, students sometimes return home and fetch water from there. Sometimes they get water from dirty, contaminated sources which affect students with waterborne complications like typhoid, diarrhea, and stomachaches. Thus, the rate of absenteeism is high.
Students carry their own jerrycans for water, and once they arrive at school, it is poured into larger plastic containers. These larger containers are not covered, and often have dry leaves and garbage floating in them.
The school has a total of 15 VIP (ventilation improved pit) latrines and one urinal, out of which two are reserved for teachers, six for boys, and seven for girls. Some of these lack doors, giving students no privacy! The latrines are not enough for the school population and results in pupils wasting a lot of time queuing during break. Four other doors were condemned because they are in such poor condition.
There is one improvised hand-washing facility intended for teachers' use, but nothing for students to use. This has heightened the transmission risk of diarrhea diseases. The pupils who live on school grounds are most affected because of the poor sanitation facilities. This includes bathing rooms, which are made of poles and iron sheets with no doors or roofs.
There isn't enough water to keep facilities clean, and there's no structure in place for maintenance. Students and teachers lack hygiene and sanitation knowledge in general! Caroline, a teacher at the school, says, "We have a big problem with water and sanitation facilities in our school, especially with the increasing number of enrollment within our boarding section who require water to wash, bathe and clean their dormitories. We have a big problem with the way we handle hygiene issues in our institution, and we need to be enlightened on issues to do with sanitation and hygiene."
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. This CTC club will oversee the new facilities and make sure they are kept clean and in working condition.
Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank and VIP Latrines
The school community is willing to contribute the local materials to be used in the construction of a 30,000-liter water catchment tank and additional VIP latrines. These new facilities will go a long way in reducing the rate of waterborne diseases among pupils and teachers. In the meantime, the school has agreed to start treating drinking water in order to immediately reduce waterborne disease.