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
Lelmokwo Secondary School was founded in 1965 by community members who donated the land where the school is now built. It has since become a full boarding school - with many students who traveled far to live and study here. Though the school is far from the center of town in a quiet environment, there is still a good road network. The school currently has a population of 850 students and employs 44 teachers. The school has also hired 10 cooks, four security guards, two secretaries, two accountants, four drivers, four matrons, five groundsmen and two shopkeepers.
Though the school has been around for dozens of years, water and sanitation still pose a great challenge. The available rationed piped water from the county government is not sufficient, bearing in mind the need of all these young residents. Not only is the water rationed, but it is metered; the school must pay for every liter. Most often the piped water is only available two days a week, so the school fills as many of their storage tanks as possible. Each of these has a capacity of 10,000 liters. Even when full, the water is quickly used for cleaning, bathing, cooking, and drinking.
Even worse, we found that the pipes carrying the rationed, metered water are of low quality and are now rusting after years of use. The taps around the school would fool one into thinking water scarcity has been dealt with, but our visit proved otherwise.
These boys suffer from stomachaches and headaches from not having enough clean water, and their hygiene is wanting.
There are 20 pit latrines for the boys, which means there's one latrine per 43 boys. There are absolutely no hand-washing stations! The principal has requested that we focus on hand-washing during hygiene and sanitation training, admitting that most boys don't even know about it.
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.
Plans: VIP Latrines
Two triple-door latrine facilities will be constructed, providing a total of six new latrines for the boys. 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!
The principal added, "We are ready to stop doing anything else and direct our attention to putting up these facilities. We believe that with this kind of project, we are going to have at least a permanent solution of water. As a school, the water tank will help us a lot, especially during rainy and dry seasons respectively. Wastage of rainwater has always been experienced in this school due to lack of a storage tank, but with this tank, we are going to capture all rainwater and channeling to the tank - and during dry season, we shall be pumping the piped water to the tank for storage during periods of water rationing by the county government!"