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).
The Ebwiranyi primary school is located in Ebwiranyi Village, Mwitubwi sub-location, Southwest Bunyore location, Mwivona Ward, Emuhaya Constituency, Vihiga County.
The Church of God sponsored the school's opening in 1952. The primary school has a total population of 728 pupils: 373 boys and 355 girls. There are also 67 early education pupils: 35 boys and 32 girls. This number includes four disabled students: one with physical disabilities and three with epilepsy. There are 13 TSC teachers and four PTA teachers. There is also a staff of three: one cook and two watchmen. 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.)
There is no safe water source within the school compound. Thus, students have to carry water from home to class every morning. The water they bring is not sufficient for an entire day, since water should be used for drinking, cleaning classrooms, and hand washing.
Students must then search for water during the school day, but the only available safe water source is one kilometer away. This walk is too far, so students often pull from contaminated sources around the school.
The contaminated water has resulted in water-borne illness outbreaks among students. The head teacher reports that those in the compound have already suffered from diarrhea, cholera, and typhoid.
The school sanitation situation is also in dire need of improvement. There are only seven VIP latrines that are used; three for the boys, three for the girls, and one shared among the teachers. All bathrooms are shared between students of both the primary school and secondary school. Since these 200 secondary school students do not have their own latrines, the primary school latrines are almost full and in poor condition.
Along with the shortage of latrines, there are no hand washing facilities present in either compound.
63 students have already suffered from Jiggers. This is a distracting and embarrassing condition that has caused decreased self-esteem especially among female students.
The head teacher is appealing to WEWASAFO or any other organization that can help. They want to provide clean and safe water before a major illness and disease-related catastrophe occurs.
A Community Project
Parents, school board members, local administration and WEWASAFO staff were included in mobilization.
Representatives were chosen to create both a community and school calendar to effectively plan the project. These representatives also mitigated tasks and mapped materials available to the community.
These materials were collected so that three spring protections and three water tanks could be constructed in Kakamega County. Materials include sand, ballast, hard core, bricks, and poles. Construction began on the fourth week of June, 2015.
Rainwater Harvesting Tank
Construction of the tank is complete and it is now in use. The area receives high rainfall throughout the year, giving the school a great opportunity to collect and store adequate water in their new tank. The water tank has made it easy for students to fetch water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. Before the tank, students had to carry water to school with them, which was often inadequate. They then had to walk long distances in search of more. Pupils are now very happy that they no longer have to walk long distances for this necessity.
Access to safe drinking water has saved so much time for students. This additional time is used for study, and staff has already seen an improvement in academic performance. This makes the parents, teachers, and students very happy with the project's results.
Two double-door VIP (ventilation improved pit) latrines have been constructed and are now in use. Two of the doors are for girls and the other two are for boys. Though the facilities are still not enough (especially for girls), the pupils are content with shorter lines.
Two hand-washing facilities were delivered to and installed in the school compound. The pupils were trained on how to properly use these, and were assessed to ensure they wash their hands well. The two stations serve the entire school, and so you can imagine that the lines are extraordinary during class breaks. Thankfully, the Student Health Club has come up with an improvised solution of tippable tins filled with water that help alleviate the long lines.