This project is being implemented by our partner Western Water And Sanitation Forum, and includes the construction of a rainwater harvesting system and Ecosan latrines.
Elukho primary school was started in 1977 as a primary school after having been a nursery school for many years. The school is about 7km away from Kakamega County Headquarters, off Kakamega – Ingotse road, Kakamega Central Sub-county, and Lurambi Division, Butsotso East location, Shirakalu sub-Location, Butsotso East ward, Elukho village. The school has a total population of 657 pupils; 336 boys and 321 girls in primary level while those in early childhood Education are 59 boys and 51 girls. It has 16 TSC teachers, 2 PTA teachers and 5 support staffs.
(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.)
The school does not have water in the school compound but it draws water for use from a spring which is 500 metres away from the school. The spring was protected by Gift of Rotary Club Victoria. The pupils waste a lot of their precious time going to fetch water from the spring. The discharge of the spring is not good, hence the pupils struggle to draw water from the spring. The pupils often have to "fight" with the community members who feel they have a right to draw water first as they need a lot of water for use at home, then the pupils will do so later. The community members feel that the pupils have less usage of. Also the pupils have to cross the road when going to fetch water from the spring, therefore they are exposed to accidents from some reckless drivers of vehicles and motor cycle riders. The school is in a position to tap water from the roof if assisted. The school has a feeding programme only for class eight pupils due to lack of water in the school.
When it comes to sanitation facilities, the school has 10 doors for girls, 11 doors for boys and one urinal pit for boys which is in a very poor state. The latrine is built of brick walls plastered with cement. The headmaster, Mr. Mudogo, admitted that the latrines get filled up fast since they cannot sink the hole deep because the place is very rocky. "We no longer have a place to sink more holes in the school because of the rocks. We are really appealing for help from development partners and the government to help us construct an ecosan latrine," he said. The teachers have 4 doors of pit latrines which are in poor and pathetic conditions. With the large population in the school, the school still needs more sanitation facilities.
Some of the infrastructure in the school like classrooms and school kitchen are almost condemned for use. The school has a fair fence of barbed wire and some parts are made of iron sheets while the school gate is also temporary. The desks are not enough for pupils to sit on three per desk. This general situation cannot give learners a conducive environment for learning therefore it contributes to poor academic performance and even some parents have opted to take their children to other schools even if the schools are far.
The school management committee, staff, pupils and the community at large are appealing to TWP and other development partners to support them in any way possible.
(Editor's Note: In the photo captions included on this page, a 'fundi' is a local resident who is working under an apprenticeship to be a skilled mason.)
The beneficiaries had availed the local materials required for construction in terms of sand, ballast, hard core, bricks and poles and so the construction process began smoothly. The local fundi (local artisan) was able to construct the rain water harvesting tank and allow it to cure. However curing processes took longer for both the tank and eco san latrines because of the heavy rains that that increased the curing times and delayed in the painting of the outside of latrines.
The eco san latrines and drying shed was completed in June and the children are happily using the new facilities.
The rain-water harvesting tank is now full as the rains have been steady. The water in the tank is being treated weekly to ensure the water is safe to drink.
The heavy rains that came in within the months of May and June had made roads impassable, therefore The WASH team left quite early to the field (as early as 5am) in the morning so as to maximize on the time before the rains come.
Handing Over Ceremony
The launching and handing over ceremony of the WASH facilities was done at Elukho PS where the head teacher of the school and the director of WEWASAFO were in attendance, along with WEWASAFO staff, the teachers, pupils, parents and Board of Management for Elukho Primary School. The occasion was also graced by the Assistant chief of the area Mr. Justus Mukoshi.
The children are now enjoying the advantages that should be afforded to every child, clean safe water available at their place of study. Children will now be able to focus more on their studies instead of going to fetch water. They will have ample access to water for hand washing and for cleaning the school. The latrines will also allow them less time waiting in line and more time studying and playing as children should be able to do.