This project is part of Bridge Water Project's program in Western Kenya. What follows is direct from them:
Iyabo primary school was started in 1974 through the sponsorship of the Catholic Church and is located in the rural parts of Mumias District and close to the Nzoia River. There are approximately 40 households in communities that surround the school.
CURRENT WATER SOURCE
Iyabo primary school was a beneficiary of a well that was dug in 1988. The well which was hand dug did not serve the school for a long period of time since there were no proper mechanisms in place to ensure it’s proper maintenance and sustainability. As a result, the well was vandalized, leaving the school and the community without water. The school and the surrounding communities access water from a stream, which is 2 km away from the school. The condition of the water from the stream is not suitable for human consumption as it is an open water source and latrines have been built along side the river. Various livestock animals are also drinking water from the river, which causes a serious health threat to those who consume the river water. The few above-mentioned attributes have led to the reported cases of diarrhea and typhoid.
The school population is as follows:
- Pupils 426 pupils, 218 girls and 208 boys.
- Special unit 15-10 boys and 5 girls
- Teachers 12
- Support staff 4
- Community 40 households (approx. 6 members per household)
HYGIENE AND SANITATION
During our visit to Iyabo primary school, we observed some pupils who were limping and on closer inspection it was learned that jiggers caused this. Due to high poverty levels among the parents, pupils cannot afford a simple pair of shoes, hence they are forced to walk barefoot to and from school and in high-risk places such as school latrines.
Through a physical inspection of the latrines, fecal matter and urine could be seen scattered all over the latrines. Some latrines were full but still in use by the students. The odor from the toilets was quite powerful and could be smelled from various areas around the school. By interviews of school staff and students, BWP learned that the latrines are only washed once a week.
From our observations made hand washing was not done by teachers or pupils. No hand washing was done after visiting the latrines or at the time of serving meals.
It was also observed that the school’s composite pit was full leading to litter being dumped around the school compound. The school kitchen was not properly cared for because of a lack of water and knowledge on safe practices.
There is a great need of water for this school. The provision of water along with proper hygiene trainings can lead to improved practices of hygiene and sanitation in the school, which in turn can improve health standards among students.
If the well is drilled, it will greatly benefit the Iyabo primary school and the community at large.
A water committee was started previously and community members have agreed to continue membership with existing members. It will be strengthened during sanitation and hygiene workshops given by BWP prior to the implementation of the project. The water committee will comprise of the, teachers on staff and community members.