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).
Rosterman Secondary School is one of the neediest schools in the area. Apart from insufficient water supply and too few latrines, the school also has inadequate infrastructure; they lack a school laboratory, library, dining hall, offices, and classrooms.
Rosterman Secondary School was started in year 2012 by its sponsor, the Catholic Church, with the aim of formalizing education for community members and ensuring that girls have access to proper education. Without an education opportunity, girls were being forced into early marriage.
The school now has a total of 320 students; 140 boys and 180 girls. The school employs 15 teachers and four support staff.
Students begin arriving at 6:30AM for their daily cleaning routine. Normal lessons run from 8AM to 4PM with two breaks and a lunch hour. Students participate in sports and games from 4PM until 5PM, when they are dismissed to return home. Once home, they help their parents do chores and complete their homework.
While their children are in school, mothers undertake household chores, help their husbands on the farm, or go to the market to sell or buy home goods. Men spend the entire day working the field and caring for livestock.
Rosterman Primary just received help with water and sanitation, and the secondary section witnessed the huge improvements. The principal thus wrote a letter explaining their need and asking for that same assistance.
The school is connected to a piped water system, but it comes twice a week if they’re lucky. Turning the tap on is the only way to check if there will be water on any given day.
Beyond those two days, students are forced to walk to the nearby stream to fetch water. This has been a major hurdle, since many students skip school to avoid having to fetch heavy container of water.
The school has been applying for rainwater catchment support from the county government, but they are continuously denied. Officials say the school doesn’t have enough funds to support a project.
The school confirms that poor academic performance is a direct result of their water shortage. Not only is time wasted as students leave to fetch water, but a high spread of sickness is reported after students drink this water. A massive amount of resources are used to treat sicknesses like diarrhea and typhoid.
The water shortage also detracts from the school’s ability to keep their facilities clean.
The school has three latrines for boys, three for girls, and two for teachers. These latrines are in fair condition but are far too few to cater to 320 students, most of who are teenage girls.
They don’t have hand-washing stations or the knowhow to find a temporary solution.
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, such as hand-washing stations, and make sure they are kept clean and in working condition. The two hand-washing stations will be delivered to the school, and the club will fill them with water on a daily basis and make sure there is always a cleaning agent such as soap or ash.
Two triple-door latrines will be constructed with local materials that the school will help gather. Three doors will serve the girls while the other three serve the boys. And with a new source of water on school grounds, students and staff should have enough to keep these new latrines clean.
A 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank will help alleviate the water crisis at this school. The school will also help gather the needed materials such as sand, rocks, and water from the spring for mixing cement. Once finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff. Students will no longer have to leave their school in search of water!
We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. These higher standards will translate to better academic performance!
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.