Water Blogged

Nanyuki area visit- Kenya

Posted by Patty Hall on June 8, 2013

Today I visited schools near Nanyuki Kenya. During the night, it rained quite a bit, so the roads on the way to the first school were trecherous.  It is a good thing that we have a tough safari vehicle and a great driver.  At one point we were sliding from side to side along a muddy road with the car barely missing fence posts.  (I think we did take one post down!) The scariest part of the drive was crossing a very narrow bridge.  I closed my eyes and hoped we wouldn’t slip off the edge.  Caroline, from KRA, said- “Don’t worry- It is shallow water.”  All I could think about was the Butch Cassidy film where the guys were ready to jump from a high spot into the river- and Robert Redford says something like :”I can’t swim.” And Paul Newman says- don’t worry the fall will probably kill you!  We laughed about that.

Again, today’s school visits were confirmation that WASH in Schools projects are truly having impact on the schools. The students are excited to show me around the school compound, and have always prepared entertainment for us. In Nanyuki, I met with a woman from MN that has opened a school for pregnant girls that have nowhere to go.  I hope to visit the home on a return visit to the area next week.  Her MN church, Messiah- provided funds through H2O for Life for Nyariginu school located nearby.  The school work has been completed, and the project is working well.

We visited Murangai School- completed in 2011.  The students were wearing green H2O for Life shirts that were mailed to them from a partner school in Ohio in 2011.  The shirts were spotless, and well cared for.  These students are a part of the Hygiene club at school and are responsible for making sure that the water and toilets are being well maintained. They escorted me to the tank, the water point, the latrines and the school assembly.

Tetu Primary School construction is just in the beginning stages. I’ll post photos of current school conditions. The project is certainly needed at the school,

The last school on our list was Gakeu Primary- again a school in dire need.  There was an old latrine still in use that looked like it could collapse at any moment. Old latrines were built through digging a pit, using wood floors and sides,which was standard for the area.  Unfortunately the soil is not able to maintain the pit without collapsing over time.  The new latrines are lined with brick to prevent collapse, and will last much longer and be safe for the children.

Several of the schools had visitors for our meetings from other schools.  Once other schools in the area hear about the improvements, they are interested to learn more, and to find out how their school can get on the list for projects.  It was also evident that once new facilites are built for a school- students begin to transfer to the school even though the daily walk may be much farther. The new students usually have different uniforms so they are easy to spot. The statistics support the moves!  All of the schools receiving WASH in Schools projects have shown tremendous academic gains.  Sometimes it is about hope and dignity for staff and students.  For all of you that have supported the projects- THANK YOU!


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