Demesi Primary School

Kenya 408 beneficiaries Vihiga County, Western...

Project Complete!

Demesi Primary School is a very old school that started in 1930. It has grown slowly and steadily over the years to currently have a student population of 391. These students have a huge campus; their playing field is so big that the Mbale rugby team comes to practice in the evenings and on the weekends.

The subjects taught here are English, mathematics, Kiswahili, social studies, religious studies, science, environmental activities, hygiene and nutrition, and literature.

Children who attend Demesi Primary report to school by 7 am with water in their small yellow containers. They spend 30 minutes to sweep and clean up litter before morning announcements. Normal lessons begin at 8 am and last up to lunch time. Lunch is eaten at the school, an idea that birthed by the headteacher after he realized that some students don’t get fed when they’re sent home for lunch. Afternoon lessons go from 2 pm until 4 pm when they take 30 minutes for recess.

But this normal schedule is often interrupted because students are removed from class and sent to fetch water from a community spring anytime the water they carried in the morning runs out.
The path to the spring gets very slippery when it rains, and some students fall and dirty their school uniforms. Though water at the spring is sufficient, students often have to line up when they find many people already there fetching water. The spring is far from school so students can never seem to fetch enough for use in school.
The parents worked hard to gather funds to buy plastic storage tanks to catch water, all in the hopes of cutting back on their children’s trips to the spring. However, these add up to only a few thousand liters and don’t last long without daily rain.
The headteacher explained that latrines are always dirty and classrooms are not cleaned as frequently as she’d like due to lack of enough water. She also explained that students do not wash hands after leaving latrines, which leads to diarrhea issues. Money and time is wasted when they return home looking for treatment. Students waste a lot of time when they go to the spring, which has dragged down academic performance as students get so tired out from the walk. Not having enough water affects their lives in so many ways, and makes students dread coming to school every day.
“Our students here suffer from diarrheal diseases which I believe are caused by the dirty water they drink from the river. That effects negatively on their performance,” said Area Assistant Chief Barusi.
What we can do:  Water, Toilets, Hand-Washing Stations and Health Education

“We just survive by sheer luck, the hygiene standards in this environment are very poor and dangerous for human lives. A lot has to be done to ensure our student’s safety,” Teacher Otwere.

Training on good hygiene habits will be held for two days. The facilitator will use PHAST (participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation), ABCD (asset-based community development), CTC (child to child), lectures, group discussions, and handouts to teach health topics and ways to promote good practices within the school. The CTC method will prepare students to lead other students into healthy habits, as well as kickstart a CTC club for the school.

Handwashing Stations
There are currently no handwashing stations.

Two handwashing stations will be delivered to the school, and the CTC club will fill them with water on a daily basis and make sure there is always a cleaning agent such as soap or ash.

VIP Latrines
The latrine situation here is pathetic. There are too few latrines and half of them are almost full. The squat holes are too wide for nursery school children.

Two triple-door latrines will be constructed with local materials that the school will help gather. Three doors will serve the girls while the other three serve the boys. And with a new source of water on school grounds, students and staff should have enough to keep these new latrines clean.

Rainwater Catchment Tank
A 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank will help alleviate the water crisis at this school, and is a great solution because the high rainfall in the area. The school will help gather the needed materials such as sand, rocks, and water for mixing cement. We will deliver the hardware, lumber, guttering, cement, and expertise needed to get the job done.

Once finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used strictly by the school’s students. The administration has decided to keep on using the plastic tanks to make it easier for them to manage this precious resource.
We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. These higher standards will translate to better academic performance!
0.088233 latitude, 34.687998 longitude
January 9, 2020

Demesi School Project Complete!

Demesi Primary School in Kenya now has access to a new source of safe, clean water thanks to the completion of their rain tank, which has the ability to collect...

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