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
Mwiyenga Primary School was started in 1974 by the ACK Church. The school now has a total of 663 pupils of which there are 123 early education students and the rest are in primary school. The school employs 16 teachers and two support 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 community would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)
A normal day at Mwiyenga Primary School begins at 6am as pupils report to school carrying their books and containers of water. Lower classes are responsible for cleaning chores starting at 7am. At the beginning and end of the week, students and staff gather for a flag raising ceremony. The master on duty addresses the pupils and invites other teachers to brief the pupils on what is expected of them. Regular lessons begin and 8am and go until 4:30pm. At 4:30pm, students are required to participate in their club of choice. There are those who are good at poetry, drama, football, and many other things. At 5pm they are all dismissed to return home for chores and dinner with their parents.
The school’s main water sources are two plastic tanks with capacities of 2,500 and 6,000 liters. The smaller tank was saved up for by parents, while the other tank was donated by (VPIA) Virtues Project International Association. These tanks are not sufficient to serve the high student population, and quickly run out when it doesn't rain. As a result, the pupils must carry their own water from home - which is not clean and safe. Many students stop at the most convenient water source along the road to school. The school reports cases of typhoid and swollen stomachs because of the dirty drinking water students find.
The school had a total of 30 latrines, but now only 12 of them can be used! Out of the 12 doors, six are for boys and six are for girls. Some of these cannot lock and compromise students' privacy. The other 18 latrines have been condemned by the ministry of health because of poor sanitation, and they will be demolished soon. The headteacher said that because of so few latrines for so many students, there are very long lines during class breaks - and the wait cuts into class time. There are no hand-washing stations for students or even teachers. This "is a God-sent organization because the school was given a closure notice just last week. God is so faithful; we are ready to provide anything that the school should provide," said Deputy Headteacher Iydiah Likhaya.
Poor environmental and personal hygiene here has contributed to many health complications, including Jiggers, a type of parasite.
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: VIP Latrines
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.
Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank
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 for mixing cement. Once finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff. With proper management of this huge tank, students will no longer have to carry heavy containers of water to school anymore.
We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. These higher standards will translate to better academic performance!