Water Blogged

Shikusa Project Complete

Posted by Steve Hall on August 1

There is a new rainwater catchment system at Shikusa 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. Shikusa Primary School had been shut down by the government in the past for lacking sanitation facilities. The new, well-built latrines will ensure that the school continues to stay open for these 469 students.

Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction for this 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank was successful!
“We are so humbled and grateful for what you have done for us. The facilities will helped us save on time that we normally wasted going to look for water outside the school compound,” said Teacher Nyuliah.

Since this school is for the children of prison staff, the wardens brought over some prisoners to help build the tank! They were heavily supervised and worked extremely hard to help our artisans with the heavy lifting. Parents themselves helped as well, and the many hands made for quick construction work.

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 Shikusa 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.

“More so, sanitation facilities will reduce queuing that had been witnessed due to insufficient sanitation facilities [back] then,” said Teacher Nyuliah.

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 planned and organized for training together with the headteacher and his deputy. Recruitment of participants was delegated to the sanitation teacher, who hand-picked student leaders from classes four to seven. She came up with a total of 20 pupils who will learn about new health habits and share them with their peers and families at home. There were also two teachers in attendance.

We covered topics including:

  • primary healthcare
  • taking care of the new facilities
  • common illnesses and their prevention
  • waterborne illnesses
  • CTC (child to child) club activities
  • handwashing
  • dental hygiene

    Covering the dental hygiene topic made every participant very attentive. Before the facilitator demonstrated dental hygiene, she requested two participants to volunteer and show others how they normally brush their teeth. Almost all of the participants raised their hands.“Today’s training is powerful one, we have learnt a lot and now we are more informed than we were before,” said 13-year-old Kennedy.

    Thank You to the following schools for making all of this possible!

  • Jefferson Junior High School, IL
  • St. Therese Catholic Academy, WA
  • Vantage Global Sustainability Strand, Minnetonka High School, MN

Recent Posts

Blog Archive