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Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  Installed

Functionality Status:  Functional



"We are very sure that the results to come will be improved, since pupils will have enough time to study since water is now within their reach."

Head Teacher Christopher Sikwata



Community Profile & Stories

This project is a part of our shared program with Safe Water and Sustainable Hygiene Initiative (SAWASHI). Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).

Background Information

Early in the morning of Monday to Friday, children who are pupils of Mache Primary School report to their school compound. Some are seen coming from local grass-thatched houses, as others come from semi‐permanent houses. Their parents wake up early in the morning to go and search for daily bread. Women take up the responsibilities of taking buckets and going to streams to fetch water for their family’s use. As is routine in this community, water for drinking is collected early in the morning. They believe that at this time, water is still fresh with less contaminants (this is according to the community). Farming is the main source of this community’s income.

The school has a total student enrollment of 650, of which 300 are boys and 350 are girls. There are 16 teachers and four supplementary staff employed by the school. (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 site would make a great location for a second project. To learn more, click here.)

Once they are at school, the pupils do a thorough cleaning wherein boys collect litter while girls sweep their classrooms. Life for pupils and teachers of this school is full of struggles, for most of the time is spent by pupils searching for safe water which is not easily not accessed. This affects the academic performance of the entire school as well as their hygiene and sanitation situation. With such struggles caused by the lack of safe water in the school, the entire community believes that the failed water system in the school compound will be of great use to them once it is rehabilitated.

The Current Source

The broken well was drilled in 1989 by the Kenya Finland Company. According to the community, the well served the school and the greater community for six years and then broke in the year 1995. Since the school and the community did not have knowledge on how to repair it, they decided to return to using a stream which is not protected. After the well was known to be broken, it was vandalized and more parts were stolen.

Students have to travel over one kilometer to get to the closest water source. This long trip takes over 30 minutes! Such a long trip, and the water source isn’t even clean. It is an unprotected spring that is open to contamination. Some known contaminants are from surface runoff, human and animal activity, and soil erosion. Even though it is an unprotected spring, students and other locals are not treating the water before drinking. After drinking this water, people report cases of typhoid and diarrhea.

Once at the spring, students use small plastic containers to scoop water. These containers appear to be dirty and lack covers to protect the water during transportation.

Sanitation Situation

There are 10 latrines, but some have no doors. The holes are not covered, nor are the latrines cleaned on a regular basis. There is one hand-washing station, but it does not have soap. There is a dish rack available for airing out containers, and there is a large open space for disposing of garbage.

Two more hand-washing stations will be installed in the form of “tippy taps.” Tippy taps are containers tied to a rope; when the rope is pulled, it tips the container to pour water. Staff has already decided these stations should be used on a daily basis, but should then be stored inside during school holidays to avoid vandals.

Training Sessions

Teachers and students will be trained in hygiene and sanitation over the course of three days. The facilitator will use the CHAST (Children’s Health and Sanitation Training) method to help students differentiate between good and bad practices, and will teach a session about disease transmission routes. Not only will students and staff be educated on these important topics, but will together form a water user committee that will be responsible for the rehabilitated borehole and other sanitation facilities such as latrines and tippy taps.

The school and local leadership have expressed their worry about a renewed well, that what happened before will happen again. They explained the reasons why the initial water system was vandalized and then stolen. Some of the reasons included:

1. Lack of a water user committee
2. Lack of a sense of ownership by the community
3. Poor capacity-building strategies

The local assistant chief has initiated a program that will bring all the beneficiaries of the water source together so as to discuss and realize the gaps that led to the loss of the initial water system. With this in mind, the community and school have promised to form a strong water user committee that will be in charge of the rehabilitated well’s security, operations and maintenance.

Project Results: Training

School administration provided a good, conducive environment for training, which was held in a classroom at the school for three consecutive days. The first day was set aside of lower primary, the second for upper primary, and the third was for distribution of hand-washing stations and demonstrations. A section of pupils from each grade was selected to attend, and parents and local leadership were also present.

The CHAST (Children’s Health and Sanitation Training) methods were used to teach different grades different topics:

For lower primary, they:

  • Analyzed the problem: Learned how flies spread germs and how disease is spread in general
  • Identified the problem: Memorized good and bad hygiene practices
  • Practiced good behavior: Hand-washing exercises, toothbrushing, toilet use, and face-washing

For upper primary, they talked about:

  • Clean is beautiful: Why do we wash hands? When? How?
  • I drink safe water: Different types of water sources, differentiating between safe and unsafe water, water treatment
  • Going to the latrine: How? Health risks of open defication, latrine maintenance
  • My school is beautiful: Keeping a clean environment, anti-litter campaigns, roles of the school health club
  • Germ-free food: Covering food and proper preparation
  • How to prevent diarrhea: Fecal-oral disease transmission routes, symptoms of diarrhea, blocking transmission

The facilitator made sure students actively participated with each other in small and large groups. Presentations were also made with the help of posters and pictures, and participants also enjoyed on-site training as they and their teachers walked the school campus, talking about what they saw.

Three days of hygiene and sanitation training are a great kickstart to improving students’ school and home environments. And now that there is sufficient safe water within reach, the school and greater community will have more time and resources to address other issues: Most students go to school barefoot because they are from very poor families, and are at great risk of contracting more diseases from using dirty latrines with no shoes! [Editor’s Note: We hope to see this change in the near future. Ongoing conversations with our partner in Kenya will reveal how the improvements we have made, both in water and sanitation, unlock even greater things!]

Hand-Washing Stations

These were delivered on the third day of training, and can be seen in the latest picture update. Students were trained on how to use and maintain these properly on that same day.

Well Rehabilitation

Construction for this well began on March 14th. The construction team took an entire day to remove the old well pad. If you like demolition work, this is exactly what they were doing! The cement was old and cracked, and thus had to be fully removed before the pad could be built again. The following two days, the team reconstructed the well pad with new materials: a composite of concrete, sand, and cement. The well pad was left to cure for three days before the Afridev pump was installed.

The school kept involved in this process, making sure the work team always had food! With everybody’s effort, there were no challenges and delays to construction.

At the project’s completion, Head Teacher Christopher Sikwata shared, “The academic performance of this school has been affected by lack of water. We are very sure that the results to come will be improved, since pupils will have enough time to study since water is now within their reach.”


Recent Project Updates


12/20/2017: A Year Later: Mache Primary School

A year ago, generous donors helped rehabilitate a well with Mache Primary School in Western Kenya. Because of these gifts and contributions from our monthly donors, partners can visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from our partner, Paul Weringa, with you.


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03/29/2016: Mache Primary School Project Complete

We are excited to inform you that the well at Mache Primary School is now protected and in working condition! A sustainable project doesn’t result from rushing into an area, drilling a hole and leaving it; wells don’t last forever! That’s why rehabilitation projects are so important, and why monitoring this well is a priority. The school leadership also formed a water user committee that will manage and maintain the water well. This committee, students and teachers, along with others from the community, also participated in a comprehensive hygiene and sanitation training. You can find updated training and construction details in the online project report, including new pictures. Please take a moment to enjoy all the work you made possible.

The Water Project and Mache Primary School Thank You for unlocking potential!


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02/22/2016: Mache Primary School Project Underway

We are excited to announce that, thanks to your willingness to help, the Mache Primary School will soon have a new source of safe, clean water. A broken well is being rehabilitated so it will be a reliable resource, and the students and staff will receive training in sanitation and hygiene. Together these resources will help stop the spread of disease in the area. We just posted a report including information about the school, GPS coordinates, and pictures. We will keep you posted as work continues.

Take a look, and Thank You for your help!


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02/15/2016: Update From The Water Project

You’ve been assigned to a project! Check it out! And we’ll share more once the work begins!


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Explore More of The Project

Project Photos


Monitoring Data


Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump
Location:  Kakamega, Mache
ProjectID: 4508
Install Date:  03/29/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Functional
Last Visit: 05/17/2017

Visit History:
07/06/2016 — Functional
08/01/2016 — Functional
08/12/2016 — Functional
03/03/2017 — Functional
05/17/2017 — Functional





A Year Later: Mache Primary School

December, 2017

The school has been able to continue building extra classroom blocks because water is available. This has saved us the cost of hiring donkeys to ferry water from outside. The project has also promoted a mutual relationship between the school, community and church.

A year ago, generous donors helped rehabilitate a well with Mache Primary School in Western Kenya. Because of these gifts and contributions from our monthly donors, partners can visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from our partner, Paul Weringa with you.


Clean water has unlocked great hygiene for the students and staff at Mache Primary School, and is one of the most notable changes here. Hand-washing has really been embraced here. They’re always filled with clean water, and soap is always available. Before this well rehabilitation, it was impossible to keep this practice up.

We met the teacher in charge of hygiene and sanitation at the well, Mr. Andrew Kutoto. “Lunch is prepared on time in the kitchen, since we have water in our compound. By the fact that a lot of time is used for studies, the academic performance for pupils and the school in general has improved.

Additional classrooms being built with water from the well on campus.

The hygiene and sanitation of the school is now good and the environment is good for learning. We have an active health club that ensures that the latrines and classrooms are cleaned frequently. The health club also ensures that there is water in the hand-washing stations. The school has been able to continue building extra classroom blocks because water is available. This has saved us the cost of hiring donkeys to ferry water from outside. The project has also promoted a mutual relationship between the school, community and church,” he shared.


19-year-old Joshua Shimwenyi said that “I do not experience stomachaches that I used to have when we drank water from other sources.” He continued, “I have enough time to carry out my studies, especially during this year as I prepare to sit for final exams.”


We know that clean water unlocks more study time for students, and we wish them the best of luck as they sit for final exams!

The Water Project and our partners are committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by monthly donors, allows us to visit communities up to 4 times a year. Read more about our program and how you can help.


Country Details

Kenya

Population: 39.8 Million
Lacking clean water: 43%
Below poverty line: 50%

Partner Profile

Safe Water & Sustainable Hygiene Initiative (SAWASHI) provides safe, affordable and sustainable water supply services through rehabilitation of boreholes, strengthening of Water User Committees, WaSH training of target beneficiary communities and monitoring & evaluation of water systems.