Water Blogged

Lugango Project Complete

Posted by Steve Hall on July 23
There is a new rainwater catchment system at Lugango Primary School in 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.

Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction for this 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank was successful!

The project was delayed a bit because it was hard to find good, clean sand to mix with the cement. Community members had delivered some sand but it was not fine enough. Even though school had closed for the holiday season at that time, parents and caring community members still rallied together to find what Lugango Primary School needed.

“We had been sending the pupils back to the spring for water all the way until now. But now we are the proud owners of a whole tank. This is almost unbelievable!” Headteacher Shikondi exclaimed.

“The struggle has been there but we are now so happy we will enjoy having clean water throughout the year. This is a huge blessing to us and we do not take it for granted. This, I am sure, will also improve the already good performance of the school. I am certain of it!”

Headteacher Shikondi was so excited to see his students return after Christmas break to find clean water on school grounds.

The Process:
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 Lugango Primary School, though we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program.

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit latrines. 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.

Handwashing Stations

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.

New Knowledge

We worked with the headteacher to recruit student representatives from each grade. These students will form a child to child (CTC) student health club that will hold activities and meetings to teach their peers about what they learned. Student attendance was good as we had expected, but we had been hoping more of their parents would attend too.

This is usually a season of drought all over the country. The days and nights are all hot. This particular day the sun was bright, so we were very grateful that the headteacher provided us with an empty classroom.

The girls looked more interested with the training than the boys at the start, but as we went on the boys started picking up excitement slowly but surely. We believe they had developed an attitude against the training when they heard it was about cleaning, as in Kenyan communities matters related to cleaning usually concern the girls only. But as we introduced more topics they became more attentive and their interest developed.

We covered topics including:

– primary healthcare
– taking care of the new facilities
– common illnesses and their prevention
– waterborne illnesses
– CTC club activities
– handwashing
– dental hygiene

Leadership and governance were also taught to equip the CTC student health club with good leadership skills as they teach the rest of the student body what they learned. The training ended with the election of the club cabinet leadership.

“Today I have found a reason to keep working hard. This training has opened my eyes to the opportunities that are out there and has enlightened me more on issues of hygiene,” said 16-year-old Vivian.

Thank Your for making all of this possible!

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