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The Water Project : 7-kenya4660-training
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The Water Project : 19-kenya4660-school-farm
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Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 339 Served

Project Phase:  Installed

Functionality Status: 

Community Profile & Stories

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 Secondary School Shamakhokho was started by community members in 2002, and is currently sponsored by Friends Church.

The school currently has a total student population of 316, but according to Principal Mr. Otieno, the population is expected to rise because of ongoing form one enrollment. 13 teachers are employed here. The school also has 10 support staff who ensure that the school activities are run in an orderly manner.

The school is located near Shamakhokho Market, where they have the ability to sell fish that they rear in their fish pond on campus.

Proximity to any market center is usually a blessing for many people, especially traders, but not here in Shamakhokho. Bars around the community center are full of prostitution. Some students attending Friends School Shamakhokho were born out of prostitution. These students have had to persevere through the shame of being called bastards by their peers. Many of these students stay with their grandparents because they cannot be accepted by their step-fathers. Some of the young girls end up giving in to sex to earn enough money for buying basic needs, since their elderly grandparents cannot provide for them. School fee payment in this institution is like a nightmare because student guardians are either impoverished or have neglected their families.

A normal day starts with students, teachers and support all preparing for an early arrival at school, sometimes as early as 6:30 AM. Students start by cleaning their classrooms as teachers prepare for the day’s lessons.

Students are taught different subjects ranging from languages, arithmetic, humanities to sciences. While teachers and students are in the classroom, support staff is busy cooking, cleaning the compound, and attending to parents and visitors.

Water Situation

This school is connected to a piped water system that feeds from a source in a different community. Piped water may sound like a good thing, but it’s not even near a reliable service for those living in Kenya. These pipes are used to ration water to the school, making it available on Mondays and Thursdays. Come every Monday and Thursday, the school must draw as much water as they can to keep in two large, plastic tanks (the tanks can hold up to 10,000 liters each). There are a few taps on this container, and students must wait in line to fetch water as it’s needed.

These two days of water cause the school to often run short of what they need. Not only that, but so many things go wrong with the piped system that on any given Monday or Thursday, the school might miss their chance to get water. When they run out of what they stored from the piped system, they have no alternative source. That’s why the rationing is so strict, and why the school sacrifices water that could be used for cleaning.

Sanitation Situation

There are 13 pit latrines total, but some of them are almost full. The floors are plastered in concrete, the walls are brick, and the roofs are iron sheets. These are not very clean, since there isn’t enough water to wash them with.

There is only one hand-washing station on school grounds. Garbage is piled behind the buildings and burned when it gets too high.

Despite these poor conditions, the principal and his students are still excited to learn about how they can make their environment and themselves cleaner and healthier. Principal Omutondo told us that “many people in this area lack information and awareness on health issues affecting them, and thus many suffer without any assistance.” The school is excited that they have the upcoming opportunity to learn!

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training and Hand-Washing Stations

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.

Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank

A 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank will be constructed on school grounds. Teachers, students, and parents will gather the 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.

With adequate clean water, the school will have water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and hand-washing. The school will no longer have to rely on rationed water that causes a strain on their student body and their budget.

Plans: VIP Latrines

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. And with a rainwater catchment tank nearby, there will be enough water to keep them clean.

School administration and parents are positive that with these new facilities and training, their students’ academic performance will improve. Students will be healthy and empowered to focus on what’s important!

Recent Project Updates

09/18/2017: Friends Secondary School Shamakhokho Project Complete

Friends Secondary School Shamakhokho in Kenya now has a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your generous donation. A new rainwater catchment system has been built, and there are now six new latrines being used. Two hand-washing stations have been installed, and students have received training in sanitation and hygiene. Just imagine the difference these resources will make in the lives of these children!

You made it happen, now help keep the water flowing! Join our team of monthly donors and help us maintain this rainwater catchment tank and many other projects.

The report below from our partner gives the latest details of the project. We also just updated the project page with new pictures.

Project Result: New Knowledge

We worked with Principal Otieno to plan the best date and time for hygiene and sanitation training. He requested that each teacher choose student leaders to represent the rest of their classmates, while he invited certain board members and parents to attend as well. 18 participants ended up gathering together in one of the classrooms.

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Students all receive notebooks and pens to help them remember everything they learned.

Students participated well in all of our activities. We taught an entire lesson on management and maintenance of the new tank and latrine facilities. Regular checking and cleaning of the gutter system is a must! It’s also important to treat the water while it is still in the tank. We also covered topics including but not limited to:

– Water pollution and water treatment

– Personal and environmental hygiene

– Group dynamics, leadership, and governance

– Forming an effective CTC (child to child) club

– Hand-washing

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The trainer looks on as the students practice and try to recall the 10 steps of hand-washing.

Demonstrations were used for hand-washing, tooth-brushing, solar disinfection, and many other topics. We facilitated group discussions and presentations, and students took part in role-plays. The students also received handouts which will help them teach hygiene and sanitation to their peers.

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A young lady presents on the hygiene behavior her group discussed.

The CTC club will include both students and teachers who want to take responsibility for spreading the message of good health and hygiene among their peers. They will also be responsible for managing hand-washing stations, cleaning latrines, and keeping the school environment tidy. A water user committee has also been formed by parents and school administration, which will be responsible for overseeing and maintaining the new facilities.

Mrs. Elizabeth Sagwa is on the school board, but used to be a teacher here too. She opted to attend training, and is grateful she did. “Am a retired teacher by profession, but today I have learn a lot from you WEWASAFO team – things which I used to see as minor but I have concluded to be major things. Things like steps of hand-washing was not major to me but truly learning is a continuous process. Now I will have a duty to teach others who didn’t get a chance to attend today’s training,” she shared.

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Project Result: Hand-Washing Stations

The two hand-washing stations were delivered to school and handed over to the CTC club. They will teach other students how to properly wash their hands at these stations, and will make sure there is always soap or ash available. Now the school has the stations they need, and they have the water to fill them!

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The CTC club decided to have one station for each gender.

Project Result: VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new VIP (ventilated improved pit) latrines. These latrines are easy to use and easy to clean. And with a rainwater catchment tank, there should be enough water to keep them clean all the time!

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Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction for this 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank was successful!

Parents, staff, and students helped our artisans gather everything needed for construction. All the while, women cooked meals for the artisans, and the school provided accommodations for the artisans during their work.

Rainwater tank construction began with clearance of the site: excavating the soil within the required measurements to make level ground for the tank foundation. The foundation was cast by laying hardcore on a level ground and then reinforcing it using steel, concrete and waterproof cement.

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Thick wire mesh is the skeleton of the thick tank walls.

As the foundation was being lain, both the drawing pipe as well as the washout pipe were affixed. The wall was built with ferro-cement techniques through six layers. The inner wall was plastered while rough casting was done on the outer part.

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After the superstructure had been given enough time to settle, the dome construction followed. The manhole cover was fitted, inlet pipes were connected to the roof gutters, inlet screens, ventilation pipes (breathers) and overflow pipes were all done to standards.

Finally, the catchment area was dug, plastered, and a staircase installed. Drainage was set up there, and then the tank was allowed three to four weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Friends Secondary School Shamakhokho. It already has some water in it!

Principal Otieno gathered his school around the finished tank to present it to his students and staff. He dressed in a formal green suit and couldn’t hide his joy. “With this rain harvesting tank, we are able to save a lot of money beside getting adequate clean and safe water for drinking and for general use within the school. Waterborne diseases such as typhoid, cholera, dysentery initially were a great challenge in our school. Most of our students spent much of their time seeking medication rather than concentrating on their studies. This project has solved all those problems,” he proclaimed.

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09/14/2017: Finishing Touches at Shamakhokho Secondary School

Dear Friends, since we have an estimated completion date of Friday, September 15 for the work being done at Shamakhokho, we better give you a progress update: Things are a bit behind because of a long summer break in Kenya this year. Work at the school is just about done, and we anticipate a final report in less than two weeks. This is great news! We hope that it will rain as soon as this rainwater catchment tank is finished.

Thank You for bringing clean water and sanitation to these students.

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04/26/2017: Friends Secondary School Shamakhokho Project Underway

Friends Secondary School Shamakhokho in Kenya has begun building a new source of safe, clean water because of your generous donation. A rainwater catchment tank and new latrines are being constructed, hand-washing stations provided, and the school is being trained on proper sanitation and hygiene practices. Imagine the impact this will have on these students! Thank you for noticing the need here, and we’ll keep you posted as the work continues.

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Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Project Data

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment
Location:  Vihiga, Shamakhokho
ProjectID: 4660
Install Date:  09/18/2017


Project Sponsor - Yakima Foursquare Church

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Country Details


Population: 39.8 Million
Lacking clean water: 43%
Below poverty line: 50%

Partner Profile

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.