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
Mwitoti Secondary School is a mixed day and boarding school located in Kakamega County. The school started in the year 2000 and has had a steady population growth since. As of now, it has a total of 1,200 students enrolled. There are 36 male teachers and 26 female teachers. The school has tried to solve their water challenge by looking for sponsors to drill wells for them, but all three have all dried up because of an insufficient water table.
(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.)
On arriving at the school to conduct a baseline survey, we met a group of students rolling away a plastic tank that used to store water pumped from one of the wells. There are casual laborers employed by the school who spend the entire day fetching water just to sustain the school throughout the day.
A typical morning around Mwitoti Secondary School begins at 6am, when you won't miss the sight of a group of boys heading out to fetch water.
Not only are community members hired to ferry water to the school, but students must often fetch water too. There is a spring in the village and a well located in a nearby primary school. Students must go to one of these places to get water for both cleaning the school and personal hygiene. In the evenings, girls also take on the responsibility of fetching water from the spring for cleaning their clothes and storing some in buckets for the next morning.
There are only three usable latrines for each gender. There isn't enough water to keep these latrines clean, especially considering how overused they are. Most of them are broken down with crumbling walls and floors. The boarding section of the school is in particularly poor condition.
There are two hand-washing stations, but students don't have enough water to wash their hands after visiting the latrines, and utensils aren't properly cleaned after meals. There isn't any soap for cleaning hands or dishes either.
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. Once finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff. Students will no longer have to leave school to find enough water to meet their daily needs. The presence of this water will be of particular benefit to the students who live in the boarding section.
We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. These higher standards will translate to better academic performance!