Mali Mali completion report

June 15, 2022
We are excited to share that Mali Mali Primary School in Kenya now has access to a new source of safe, clean water thanks to the completion of their new borehole well! Students and staff are already using the well's flowing water, which will provide them with a reliable source of water for all of their daily needs. We installed new latrines and handwashing stations for students, and we trained the school on improved sanitation and hygiene practices, including COVID-19 prevention. These components work together to unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives. Here is the completion report provided by our implementing partner, The Water Project.

Barrack N., 12, said, "Access to clean, reliable water has alleviated our suffering since we could trek for [a] long [time] in search of water with no avail. This wasted our time to learn. I'm now going to pass my examination, courtesy of and thanks to the donor."

Teachers were just as excited as the students about the new well on campus. Teacher Nancy Ndakwa said, "I will no longer incur hospital bills to treat water-related ailments [as] a result of consuming water unfit for humans."

How We Got the Water Flowing
Parents, staff, and students all played a part in this well's success. After determining the best site for the well through a hydrogeological survey, we obtained approval and a license through the government to begin drilling the new well.

To prepare for the project, the school helped collect fine sand and water for our artisans to use in making cement. When everything was ready, our drill team and staff arrived at the school to begin work.

The drilling process can take up to three consecutive days to complete due to this region's hard bedrock, so when the drill team arrived, they set up a small camp where they could rest and refuel in shifts near the drill rig. The school's kitchen staff and a few parents helped provide meals for the team, while the school provided a safe place for the artisans' accommodations and materials. People of all ages came to watch the well's progress throughout each day.

Drilling commenced with excitement in the air. As the rig progressed, the team drove down a temporary casing to keep the walls from collapsing. We continued drilling to reach a final depth of 100 meters with a final static water level of 40 meters.

The team replaced the temporary casing with a permanent version and then bailed out the dirty water at the bottom of the well. They installed the pipes and flushed them, tested the well's yield, and chlorinated the water.

Following chlorination, we constructed a cement well pad to seal off the well from any ground-level contaminants. The pad includes tiles beneath the drawing area to help protect the cement from the erosive force of the water, and a short drainage channel to carry spilled water away from the pump, preventing standing water at the access point. At the end of the drainage channel, we also dug a soak pit that helps absorb the runoff into the ground, further eliminating stagnant water.

When the well pad was dry, we installed a new stainless steel AfriDev handpump and took a water quality test to send to a government lab. The results came back announcing that this water is safe for drinking!

Students' and teachers' enthusiasm for this much-anticipated project was overwhelming. We officially handed over the new borehole to the school with joy.

Students and staff celebrated the presence of clean water on campus. The event was an excellent chance for us to acknowledge the school administration and students as the primary parties entrusted with the tools we have given and remind them of our continued support as they develop. Happiness, thanksgiving, and appreciation were the order of the day, flowing in all directions.

VIP Latrines
This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines, three for the girls and three for the boys. These new latrines have cement floors designed to be easy to use and clean, locking doors for safety and privacy, and vents designed to keep air flowing up and out through the roof. With a rain tank right on school property, there should be enough water to keep them clean.

Handwashing Stations
The two handwashing stations were set up during training and handed over to the student health club. These were placed outside of the girls' and boys' latrines to encourage handwashing after latrine use. Health club members will teach other students how to wash their hands at the stations properly, make sure the stations are filled with water, and ensure that there is always a cleaning agent such as soap or ash available.

New Knowledge
We scheduled hygiene and sanitation training with the school's staff, who ensured that the training date would be convenient for pupils and teachers. When the training day arrived, facilitators Christine, Wanja, Viscus, and Simidi deployed to the site to lead the event. 21 students and teachers attended the training.

We focused on COVID-19 prevention, transmission, and symptoms while also covering several other topics. These included personal hygiene such as bathing, oral hygiene, and the ten steps of handwashing; environmental hygiene; child rights; operation and maintenance of the rain tank, latrines, and handwashing stations; and leadership and governance. During the latter, the students elected their peers to lead their newly formed student health club.

The club will be significantly involved in the water, sanitation, and hygiene project management at school. It will be responsible for encouraging good health and hygiene practices amongst their peers, teachers, and the larger community. We involved stretches, dances, and physical activities between each topic to keep the pupils' energy up and their minds active. By the end of the training, each pupil understood their role in sustaining clean water and good health within their school community.

The training was held under some trees outside the school buildings. The fresh air allowed participants to space out and concentrate. It was also a good space for effective demonstration exercises during the training.

Soap-making was a favorite topic for the day since it was new knowledge for participants. The students were very attentive, as evidenced by their active participation and questions.

Laureen commented, "Learning is a continuous process. Every minute, we learn new things. The training has indeed shed more light to me in regards to observing good hygiene standards. For a long time now, I have neglected basic hygiene practices, and this indeed endangers my personal health."

Tyraline, the new student water committee secretary, said, "We have been reminded that COVID-19 is real and that it kills. I have gained the skills on how to make soap. I will also act as an ambassador to train the rest of the children and also my parents at home."

We asked Tyralin what it was like for him to be at home for most of the last year due to Kenya's national coronavirus-related school closures and what it has been like coming back to school.

"I really missed socializing with my peers in school. They are of great help to me. I also missed attending lessons, bearing in mind I am a candidate [for final exams]. [Now] I find it restful since for a long period of time we have lacked knowledge and interacting with my fellow pupils. I also feel happy since I'm now certain I will pass my examinations."

When an issue arises concerning the well, the students and teachers are equipped with the necessary skills to rectify the problem and ensure the water point works appropriately. However, if the issue is beyond their capabilities, they can contact our field officers to assist them. Also, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our ongoing monitoring and maintenance program.

Thank you to Messiah United Methodist Church, MN for making all of this possible!

 

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