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
Matete Secondary is an all girls high school. The school was established in the year 2004 by Friends Church. It is located in Matete Village of Kakamega, Kenya. The school started with a total of 50 students but now has a total population of 300 girls. There are 17 teachers employed here, along with eight support staff.
A normal day at Matete Girls High School starts very early in the morning. Girls start arriving at school by 6am. They grab their water containers and then head back out to fetch water together from a nearby school to clean their classrooms and latrines.
After cleaning, girls attend a study hall and morning assembly before normal classes start at 8am. Students break for an hour's lunch, and then sit in class until 3:45pm when they attend different clubs of interest.
Girls have to walk to a different school to fetch water several times a day. The other school has a well that they're willing to share with Matete Girls High School. However, girls are still getting sick after drinking this water. It is likely that this water is getting contaminated during the trip back.
During our first visit to the school, we met a young lady so sick with typhoid that she had to lay down on the ground. And without a clean water source of their own, so much academic time is wasted traveling out to fetch water.
There are only eight latrines on school grounds. Some of these are almost full, while others don't even have doors. Students aren't even allowed to use two of the latrines - they're set aside for teachers and staff. There are not nearly enough latrines, and the girls find themselves waiting in uncomfortably long lines.
We were happy to find two hand-washing stations located outside of the classrooms.
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. 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. Once finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff. Girls will no longer have to leave class to walk down the dusty road and lug back 20-liter containers 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!