There is a new rainwater catchment system at Ikoli Primary School, Kenya! Students have a source of safe, clean water thanks to your support. Handwashing stations were installed so that students can clean up after using their new latrines, and students and staff have received training in sanitation and hygiene.
We start planning for hygiene and sanitation training during construction. With the help of the headteacher and sanitation and hygiene teacher, the school selected students from classes four to six. We met in a classroom during a hot, sunny day. The 23 participants were very active and showed great interest in what they were learning. The students and their teachers needed knowledge on how to improve standards of hygiene and ensure that the sanitation facilities given to them are well maintained for years to come. Some of the topics we covered included water pollution and treatment methods, handwashing, dental hygiene, operations and maintenance of the facilities, group dynamics, and leadership and governance. These leadership activities segued into establishment of a student health club and the election of its leaders. This club will share the message of good hygiene and health that they learned during training. The students were most interested in dental hygiene as the trainer demonstrated toothbrushing. One of the participants said that his mother had taught him to brush his teeth before taking breakfast to avoid vomiting because of the toothpaste, but he learned the contrary and promised to return home to teach his mother.
“This training will help us improve on sanitation and hygiene both here at school and at home,” said 13-year-old Simon.
“We have learned how to keep ourselves clean and drinking clean water.”
Pupils can now enjoy washing their hands with soap thanks to the two handwashing stations that were delivered to their school. These new handwashing opportunities will help reduce cases of hygiene-related illness. The training on hygiene has motivated these students to share what they’ve learned with their peers at school and families at home.
This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit latrines. These were all given to the female students since they had the greatest need. All of these new latrines have cement floors that are easy to use and clean. And with a rainwater catchment tank, there should be enough water to keep them clean all the time.
Rainwater Catchment Tank
Construction for this 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank was successful!
”I am feeling very excited because of the water in the school,” said 14-year-old Christopher.
“We have been wasting much time going to fetch water at a nearby spring. Sometimes the outgoing class eight could harass us while at the spring saying they want to fetch water first because they are [secondary school] candidates. but now we will be able to concentrate on our lessons without any interference, even our performance will improve.”
Our staff and the school administration started by looking around the school to determine the best location for their new rainwater catchment tank. This needed to be the best site with good, clean roofing to catch the rainwater. Then, we cleared the site: excavating the soil within the required measurements to make level ground for the tank foundation. The foundation was cast by laying stones on level ground and then reinforcing it using steel, concrete and waterproof cement. Both the drawing pipe as well as the washout pipe were affixed as the foundation was lain. The wall was built with ferro-cement techniques through six layers. The inner wall was plastered while rough casting was done on the outer part. The catchment area was dug, plastered, and a staircase installed so students can easily get water from the tap.
Dome construction could begin after the superstructure had been given enough time to settle. The manhole cover was fitted, inlet pipes were connected to the roof gutters, inlet screens, ventilation pipes (breathers) and overflow pipes were all done to standard.
Once finished, the tank was given three weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Ikoli Primary School, though we will continue to offer them great support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program.