This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water and Sanitation Forum. Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).
Handidi Primary School is located along Kakamega-Webuye Road about 5km from Kakamega town. It is situated in Handidi village, Lubao sub-location, Isukha North Ward, Shinyalu Constituency within Kakamega County.
The School was started in 1930 by the Friends African Mission who saw the need as there was no school around the place and pupils would walk as far as 3km in search of education.
The school has total population of 617 pupils of which 306 are boys and 311 are girls in the primary level while the ECD has a total of 169 pupils of which 78 are boys and 91 are girls.
(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 has 24 teachers, 15 of them are employed by TSC, 3 ECD, 6 PTA and 5 support staff.
The school has no adequate safe water as the only water source is a plastic tank with a capacity of 2000 liters. This tank is not sufficient to serve a population of 631 pupils and teachers. The tank being constructed has a capacity of 30,000 liters, significantly increasing the amount of water that can be stored.
During the dry season, once the current tank is emptied, the school has no safe water source. As a result the pupils have to either carry water from home or from the closest source 1 km away. Since the water source is far away, the pupils resort to fetching ground water from wherever possible. These sources are quite often contaminated.
As a result of fetching water from the contaminated sources, outbreaks of water borne disease have been very rampant. The most common and serious cases reported by the school included dysentery, typhoid and swollen stomachaches. These water related diseases amongst pupils have resulted in high rates of absenteeism in the school. Absenteeism has been one of the reasons affecting performance in the school.
The school sanitation is very wanting as there are only 8 latrines that are in use. Out of the 8 doors, 3 doors are for boys, 3 doors are for girls, and 2 doors for teachers. 12 other VIP latrines have to be demolished because they are full. This has created long queues during break times and as a result many resort to relieve themselves in Kitchen Garden and behind class rooms hence causing more infections and sanitation related diseases.
The school has improvised the leaky tins (small buckets used for hand washing) within the school compound but they face the challenge of people taking them away. Due to lack of water, the little water the pupils bring to the school is prioritized for the school feeding programme and washing classrooms, but not hand washing.
The school is in dire need of support for the water and sanitation facilities. When the school community heard of WEWASAFO, they sent in their application for help.
RESULTS OF THE PROJECT:
Rainwater Harvesting Tank
The construction of a rain water harvesting tank in the school is complete and now in use.
Before the tank was constructed, the school had no adequate safe water in the school as the only water source was a plastic tank with a capacity of 2000 liters. That tank was not sufficient to serve a population of the school. Therefore the pupils had to either carry water from their homes or from the closest source 1 km away. Since the water source was far away, the pupils resorted to fetching water from any closer sources that were normally contaminated. As a result, many cases of water borne diseases were reported.
The situation in the school is now completely different. With availability of a large storage tank, the school can now tap and store water from the rain. This has helped pupils to access safe water easily for drinking, cooking and cleaning in the school compound. This has led to reduction of absenteeism rates that initially resulted from water borne diseases. They no longer have to walk a kilometer away from the school in search of water. Access to safe drinking water in the school has helped save for the pupils. This additional time is used for studies, hence there is a remarkable improvement in time utilization for academic work and thus pupils’ performance is expected to improve. The pupils, parents, and teachers are very happy with the project in the school.
The construction of a 4-door-ecosan latrine at Handidi primary school was completed and it is now being used by the pupils. The new eco-san latrine plus the previously existing latrines are serving the population of the school. The pupils were very excited to use the facility. The head teacher admitted that the pupils started using the latrines before it was even completed. The long queues witnessed during break times have reduced. Cases of open defecation behind the classrooms are no longer there.
Hand washing facility
The two hand washing facilities were delivered and installed in the school and are now in use. The pupils were trained on the right procedures for hand washing and both boys and girls are happy using the facilities. They admitted that before, they would eat even before washing their hands since they had no hand washing facility and water was not readily available. Now the pupils are observing good hygiene practices.
THANK YOU TO ALL WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THIS PROJECT!