A new rainwater catchment system was built! Madegwa Primary School in Kenya now has a new 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.
Construction for this 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank was successful! “The 50,000-liter tank donated to us will be of much help to the school community at large,” Headteacher Jane Msachi said. “We had a hard time in getting water in school, which made some of the pupils stay home because of lack of enough water in school. This also made most of the pupils go to other schools which have water. I believe by donating this water tank to us, the school will grow in population.”
Parents, staff, and students helped our artisans gather everything needed for construction including sand, stones, and water. Gathering enough materials was rough because of an ongoing classroom construction project. The administration and parents finally agreed to pause classroom construction and prioritize building this tank and the new latrines. Our staff and 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 a 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 Madegwa Primary School, though we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program.
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.
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.
It was in the evening during school vacation when we met 14 pupils and three teachers at the school. We gathered together in one of the classrooms that had enough desks and a chalkboard. The school needed to be equipped with knowledge on how to improve standards of hygiene and to also ensure that the sanitation facilities given to them are maintained to serve the school for years to come. Some of the topics covered include water pollution, personal and environmental hygiene, operations and maintenance of the facilities, group dynamics, and leadership and governance. The group activities equipped the new health club to promote hygiene and sanitation awareness at their school. Students were proud to learn that if they take good care of their facilities, they will help the school for years to come.
“I appreciate the training you have taken us through. l know the pupils will tell the others of what they have been taught, and put into practice,” Teacher Mercy Kemunto said. “Also in this training, we have learned something new about healthcare in using what is available, like charcoal in brushing teeth. That is something l didn’t know, and also how a tank is washed and the gutters, and the number of times it has to be cleaned.”