This project is a part of our shared program with Bridge Water Project. Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).
Being a public primary school, the school is located in the centre of the community and lies on sloped land that is surrounded with green vegetation. Most pupils in this school come from the neighboring families whose parents are the main stakeholders of the school.
Pupils of this school come from middle class families that practice small scale farming. Sugar cane and maize are the main crops that are grown throughout the year.
The school also has pupils who are orphaned and therefore the parents together with the teachers contribute whatever money they can raise together to support their needs.
In the year 1980, the Kenya Finland company drilled a well for the school. This was meant to help the pupils secure time for studies rather than walking long distance looking for water. In addition, the well was meant to improve the hygiene and sanitation condition of the school.
Due to a lack of both proper maintenance and formation of the water committee, the well only served for a period of three years. As it went unattended the well was vandalized and unknown people eventually stole the pump head. This rendered the school without a water source, forcing the pupils go back to the old streams, hence drinking contaminated water.
Currently, the situation has become even worse as the streams are now drying up during dry seasons. The school performance has also been greatly affected compared to the times when water was available. Teachers as well as the principal have noted more frequent absences as well as an increased number of children who fall ill at school.
CURRENT WATER SOURCE
The school currently has access to a protected spring called Simagina, which is 3km away from the school compound. This distance is too far for pupils to fetch water in a timely manner and therefore interferes with their schoolwork. The pupils are forced to carry water containers from their home for the purpose of fetching from the stream to their school. Water is directly contaminated from the water point since dirty containers are used.
The school has a population of 12 teachers and 800 pupils where 480 are boys and 320 are girls. There are an additional 2 subordinate staff.
(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.)
HYGIENE & SANITATION
The school has permanent classrooms. It has toilets- 3 doors for boys and 3 for girls, which are cleaned by the pupils every morning.
There is a hand washing station exclusively for teachers. Pupils do not have any place to wash their hands.
The school has a central place for dumping litter even though trash can be seen in various parts of the school compound.
The Bridge Water Project is set to conduct a training, on proper hygiene and sanitation which will lead a change in behavior and attitude using PHAST methodology.
ASSESSING THE NEED
Water is needed in this school mainly for the purpose of drinking, washing, cooking and other related activities.
The project will be of great benefit to the pupils and teachers of Budonga School.
A strong school water committee is there that needs to be strengthened by the help of the bridge water project staff, to ensure proper sustainability of the water project once it is rehabilitated. We will also be introducing the hygiene component to their committee so that they understand the importance of hand washing stations for all children as well as the school staff.
PHASE 1: WELL PAD CONSTRUCTION REPORT
Construction of Budonga Primary School well pads begun immediately after the Bridge Water Project masonry team arrived at the site. The work begun by cracking off the cracked well pad and the well slab for reconstruction process to be done.
Plastering was done as well as fitting back of the well slab back to the well to avoid contamination of water. Smooth plastering was done with keenness to make sure the well is adequately protected.
PHASE 2 HYGIENE AND SANITATION TRAINING HELD
Being a school which is centered right in the middle of the community and despite the ongoing teachers strike, Budonga primary school holds a big number of the pupils. The BWP’s hygiene and sanitation team carried training to the standard eight pupils who were the only class that was present in the whole school.
Hygiene and sanitation practices have great impact on the health of individuals in any community. This goes hand in hand with the behavior and attitude that people have.
Budonga primary school for instance is left out since they have suffered the outbreaks of waterborne diseases like typhoid, cholera and diarrhea. During the training, most of the pupils who come from within the community claimed to be on typhoid medications for which they say it cost a lot of money for treatment. This has made most of the pupils to stay away of school for treatment in which their parents can’t afford the cash to take them to hospital because of the state of living standard.
Some of the pupils complained of persistence of diarrhea diseases for the past days. Something unbelievable is that the pupils have been triggered in mind by their parents that the diseases is brought by change in weather and more so that they are bewitched.
Lack of knowledge on proper practice of hygiene and sanitation has been a contributing factor to the existence of waterborne diseases in this school. This therefore called for the trainers to train the community on the essentials of hygiene and sanitation practices.
This was done in discussion groups:
1. Always consume safe water
This practice required the pupils to observe essential behaviors like;
- Treat all water used for drinking and cooking by chlorination, filtration or boiling to reduce pathogens.
- Always cover water-storage containers.
- Always use different (clean) vessel to transfer water for drinking.
- Prevent anyone from putting his/her hands into the drinking water vessel, especially children.
- Clean the water storage container twice a week with soap.
2. Always safely dispose feces and other wastes
To ensure this is done, the pupils discussed the following about latrine use:
- Always dispose of the feces in a latrine or toilet.
- Clean latrine every time.
- Cover latrine after use.
- Good ventilation on latrine.
3. Wash hands with soap or ash at critical times
Washing hands is an important aspect of good hygiene and therefore the pupils were trained to observe it through the following behaviors in discussion.
- Always use correct hand washing techniques .i.e. Rub at least three times, especially fingers; use a cleansing agent; use dripping or running water if possible; air dry.
- Always wash at critical moments, i.e. after going to the bathroom, contacting feces, and before eating, feeding or cooking.
4. Prepare and store food safely
To ensure this is done, the pupils were trained to;
- Always peel or wash fresh food before eating.
- Always heat or reheat cooked foods at a high temperature shortly before eating.
- Wash food preparation surface with soap and water.
- Never consume animal products that have been improperly prepared for consumption.
- Keep flies off food.
This was emphasized by discussing of the good and bad behavior posters and the disease transmission route causes.
PHASE 3 FLUSHING, PUMP INSTALLATION AND HANDING OVER
After construction of the well pad, the well was left to cure for some days, thereafter flushing was done to clear out the over stayed stagnant water and give a room for recharge of clean water.
The well was then installed a new Afridev pump. After the whole activity, the well was handed over to the pupils and teachers of Budonga Primary school.