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
Iyenga Primary School was started in the year 1993 by its sponsor Africa Church of Holy Spirit (ACOHS). The school now has a total of 534 primary pupils and 70 early childhood education children. The school employs 16 teachers and three 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.)
Students who attend this school have to wake up particularly early to reach school on time. Since there's no water source at school, they're required to fetch water and bring it with them on a daily basis.
Headteacher Mark admitted that "being a leader in an institution like this comes along with numerous challenges. When certain things aren’t right with the institution every one tends to look at you expecting you rectify the condition. Health situation has been deteriorating in my school and everyone has been on my neck to either resign or upgrade. My hands are tied and thus cannot afford to bring clean safe water in my school."
Students report that they most often draw water from a stream that's on the way to school. This stream is open to contamination from many different sources such as animal waste and farm fertilizer.
Students carry this back to school for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. Whenever the water in the students' jerrycans is used up, they are sent out as a class to fetch more. A lot of time is wasted when students need to leave class for more water.
Waterborne disease is a reality here; the school buys Water Guard to treat the water, but absences are still common.
During our visit it became clear that the school’s sanitation needs to be addressed, since it only has seven latrine doors for girls, four doors for boys, and a urinal. There are two doors set aside just for teachers.
The school does not even have a hand-washing facility. Pupils are exposed to a high risk of disease because they don't have the opportunity or the knowledge to wash up after using the latrine or before eating.
The school also lacks a proper pit to dispose of their garbage in, so it's piled up and subject to blowing around in the wind.
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 from the spring for mixing cement (students have already started helping). Once finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff. Students will no longer be responsible to find enough water to carry to school every day.
We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. These higher standards will translate to better academic performance! With this help, the school will consider sitting for their first national exam this year.