Story sent to us from one of our great implementing partners, Kenya Rainwater Association:
The introduction of free primary education in Kenya led to an influx of pupils in the available schools and has put stress on the available WASH facilities. The situation is worse in rural communities where safe water coverage is generally lower, at almost 80%. KRA has been collaborating with our development partners over the past 20 years to support School WASH programmes in many counties in Kenya.
One of the major partners working with KRA is H2O for Life an NGO based in the United States creating partnerships between schools in the U.S. and schools in developing countries. H2O for Life has been able to help us upgrade the WASH situations in many different schools in Kenya. Among the recent beneficiaries are Njumbi, Nachu, Lusigetti and Kanyiha primary schools from Kiambu County. As well as Tetu, Nyariginu and Gakeu primary schools all from Laikipia County.
Jacinta Nyawira is a class eight pupil form Nyariginu primary school. She is among the pupils who sat for just the concluded national examinations. “I can’t remember the situations of the toilets when I joined this school, but I know sometime in 2012 the situation of the latrines in school was in a very bad state. As we girls used to have only a two door latrine which we shared from pre-unit to class eight. It was bad, there was no privacy for anyone. As a girls it was especially very uncomfortable during our period (Menstrual cycle). It was uncomfortable and most of us would stay away from school so that we can have the much needed privacy. We did not have a water catchment as big and so any water needed for use in the school we would be forced to carry from home, you can imagine in the morning we are going to school, carrying heavy bags and at the same time 5 litres water jericans, school wasn’t fun in fact it used to feel like a punishment just going to school. The diseases were many, many of us used to visit the dispensary complaining of water borne diseases, because we couldn’t verify the water sources from everyone bringing water daily. The situation has changed, we now have 8 door new latrines well ventilated and with enough space. The much needed privacy for us girls especially during our menses is a guarantee, after the morning assembly we do not waste much time queuing at the latrines like we used to do before. It is such a relief for all of us. We have been trained on washing our hands after visiting the latrine, which we never used to do, but now with a water tank which ensures constant supply of water even during the dry seasons we are able to clean our hands. Our hygiene has improved generally, we are even learning of methods of conserving our environment, we are planting trees and this ensures friendly environment and a conducive area of study. The water from the water tank is used for cooking, washing our hands, classrooms, drinking and so much more. Now that we have almost all we need, much of our efforts have now been taken back to class work, I am also teaching and training my younger siblings and my parents and any other community at home on the benefits of hygiene and I think we have all embraced the situation. Our life as a school and a community has changed, I am confident that I will be able to perform well during my national examinations because I was well prepared and my class eight year has had minimum disruptions. Thank you for your support and May the Almighty bless all our donors and supports.”