Western Kenya WaSH Program
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).
Early in the morning, students are seen streaming onto school grounds with jerrycans and books balanced on their backs. Morning study hall begins at 6:30AM, and normal classes are at 8AM. Students prepare and clean classrooms for a half hour before the school day starts, though. Lower classes collect litter outside while the upper classes clean the latrines and classrooms.
Ivono Primary School has a total enrollment of 610 students and employs 11 teachers and two supplementary staff. (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.)
Since students are required to bring jerrycans of water to school, they need to go to a water point very early in the morning. Most students stop by a protected spring on the way to school. There’s normally quite a line as students collect their water one by one from the discharge pipe. Students carry as large of a container as they can manage, since what they collect is what they have to ration for the entire school day. When there’s a critical shortage, some students may have to be sent to the spring again.
Even if clean water flows from the spring, it’s likely that water gets dirty on the walk back to school. Students and staff need a source of water on school grounds that saves them time and health. With adequate safe water, they will be able to keep their environment and bodies clean.
Ivono Primary School has 12 latrines. Most of these are in poor condition, and three are already full. Because there are so few latrines, students are still trying to use the latrines with full pits! Open defecation is certainly an issue in this area.
There are no hand-washing stations, and garbage is burned when it piles too high. Headteacher Ernest Mutondo told us that “the three latrines which are full are in a very poor and pathetic condition. It is a big challenge to the pupils who are still using them due to congestion at other latrines. They are not enough, and this is a health hazard.” This same teacher is the man who wrote an application requesting a water, sanitation and hygiene intervention.
Parents, teachers, and students will be trained for two days of sessions on hygiene and sanitation.
This training is meant to equip participants with the skills needed to practice good hygiene, and to promote these practices among peers and the greater community. The end goal is to eliminate water and hygiene-related diseases!
The facilitator plans to use PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Training), CTC (child to child), discussions, lectures, and demonstrations to teach topics including but not limited to disease transmission, hand-washing, and water treatment. The CTC method will prepare students to lead other students into healthy habits, as well as kickstart a CTC club for the school.
A 30,000-liter rainwater catchment tank will be constructed on school grounds. Teachers, students, and parents will gather the local materials needed for this project, including sand, ballast, bricks, and hardcore. This contribution will fuel a sense of responsibility for the school and community to take care of their new facilities. Once materials are mobilized, the WEWASAFO team will arrive to lead the construction effort.
Two triple-door latrines will be constructed, providing three new latrines for each gender. Latrine materials will be mobilized the same way as the tank, ensuring the school feels these facilities are truly theirs.
Two hand-washing stations will be delivered to the school before training. These come in the form of two 60-liter containers fitted with a tap. The training facilitator will demonstrate how to properly wash hands, and then students will have a chance to practice in groups. The CTC club will be responsible for filling the hand-washing containers on a daily basis.
The actions described above will give students an environment that is conducive to learning. This is an opportunity they deserve!
Western Water and Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO) works together with less privileged and marginalized members of communities in Western Kenya to reduce poverty through harnessing and utilization of local resources for sustainable development.