Essunza Primary School Project Complete

November 3, 2017
Essunza Primary School in Kenya now has a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your generous donation. A new rainwater catchment system has been built, and there are now six new latrines being used. Two hand-washing stations have been installed, and students have received training in sanitation and hygiene. Just imagine the difference these resources will make in the lives of these children!

The report below from our partner gives the latest details and photos of the project. 

Project Result: New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was planned in coordination with school administration, who arranged the time and venue and invited all of the participants. They invited parents and student leaders from each grade and gender.

We met inside a classroom for most of the time, while certain demonstrations were taken outside. There ended up being 12 students, two teachers, and two parents in attendance. However, the outside demonstrations drew a lot more students who were curious about what was going on!

We taught an entire lesson on management and maintenance of the new tank and latrine facilities. Regular checking and cleaning of the gutter system is a must! It’s also important to treat the water while it is still in the tank. We also covered topics including but not limited to:

– Water pollution and water treatment

– Personal and environmental hygiene

– Group dynamics, leadership, and governance

– Forming an effective CTC (child to child) club

– Hand-washing

Demonstrations were used for hand-washing, tooth-brushing, solar disinfection, and many other topics. We facilitated group discussions and presentations, and students took part in role-plays. The students also received handouts which will help them teach hygiene and sanitation to their peers. Hands-on demonstrations were the biggest hit with students; everyone wanted to participate in hand-washing, and students couldn’t believe that solar disinfection of water actually works. We assured them if done right, that water is safe to drink.

The CTC club will include both students and teachers who want to take responsibility for spreading the message of good health and hygiene among their peers. They will also be responsible for managing hand-washing stations, cleaning latrines, and keeping the school environment tidy. A water user committee has also been formed by parents and school administration, which will be responsible for overseeing and maintaining the new facilities.

Senior Teacher Lorna Okonyi was one of the two teachers there. She said, “This training has been so educative and beneficial to us and this institution at large. Our pupils have not only been reminded of some health promotion tips but have also been introduced to life-saving behaviors that will add more value to them. Information on menstrual [times] and hand-washing hygiene have been timely and helpful to us. We thank God that we have also been introduced to solar method of water disinfection. We are so grateful!”

Project Result: VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new VIP (ventilated improved pit) latrines. These latrines are easy to use and easy to clean. And with a rainwater catchment tank, there should be enough water to keep them clean all the time!

Project Result: Hand-Washing Stations

The two hand-washing stations were delivered to school and handed over to the CTC club. These have been placed outside of the boys’ and girls’ latrines to encourage hand-washing after latrine use. CTC club members will teach other students how to properly wash their hands at these stations, and will make sure there is always soap or ash available. Now the school has the stations they need, and they have the water to fill them!

Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

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

Parents, staff, and students helped our artisans gather everything needed for construction. All the while, women cooked meals for the artisans, and the school provided accommodations for the artisans during their work. Some local men even helped our artisans with their manual labor.

The process began with our staff and school administration moving around the school compound to try and determine the best location for a new rainwater catchment tank. This needed to be the best site with good, clean roofing to catch the rainwater.

Rainwater tank construction began with clearance of the site: excavating the soil within the required measurements to make level ground for the tank foundation. The foundation was cast by laying hardcore on a level ground and then reinforcing it using steel, concrete and waterproof cement.

As the foundation was being lain, both the drawing pipe as well as the washout pipe were affixed. 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.

After the superstructure had been given enough time to settle, the dome construction followed. 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 standards.

Finally, the catchment area was dug, plastered, and a staircase installed. Drainage was set up there, and then the tank was allowed three to four weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Essunza Primary School. It already has some water in it!

Headteacher Charles Sande spoke on behalf of his staff and students, saying “We are most grateful and in a celebratory mood for this voluminous tank we have been blessed with. Our pupils, and more so the kindergarten unit, will benefit greatly from these facilities. Water has been an evolving issue that has crossed us many years, accompanying the school for a long time. We thank God for enabling us to put this to a stop for now!”

Thanks to the following US schools for supporting this project:

Photo Gallery