St. Christopher Ayweyo Primary School wascaught between problem and opportunity…
The SWASH+ project had offered toaddress the crippling water supply andsanitation issues of this school in Kenyaby installing a borehole, building newlatrines and providing training toteachers and pupils.
However, the projectrequired that schoolscome up with 10 percentof the costs in cash orthrough donated materialsand labor.Head teacher MildredOchung noted that parentsin this community wereuncooperative with thisrequest.“The few other communities I’ve worked in arenot as negative as this one,” she says.
So the school hadto come up withanother recipe forsuccess: thestudents, a fewparents, and a planfor rigorousmaintenance
The school management helped thestudents make trapezoidal blocks forlining their latrine pits Girls were as much a part of the effort as boys. “The girls were excited that they were able to make blocks just like the boys,” says Ochung.
Not all parents were uncooperative“There were two parents who came to assistand the chairman of the school was here everyday,” notes Ochung. “He also made bricks withus and gave food to the children.”
SWASH+ research shows that poor facilitymaintenance makes students much less likely to use their latrines.But St. Christopher had been particularlysuccessful in maintaining clean latrines.The school has two teachers that are trained inhygiene and sanitation, health clubs thatattend to the facilities, and duty rosters formaintenance
Whereas students had previouslycollected water from a murky pondnear the school premises, having cleanwater readily available has made adifference for the school in many ways. “The pupils come from very far, so they use water to pour on the floor and wash their hands and legs. Also, they are not as tired because they are not thirsty...”
The school has also found a way to getcontributions from the community afterall—Community members pay 1Kenyan shilling each time they collectwater from the school’s borehole,money used to maintain the facilities.
SWASH+ is a five-year applied research project toidentify, develop, and test innovative approaches toschool-based water, sanitation and hygiene in NyanzaProvince, Kenya.The partners that form the SWASH+ consortium are CARE,Emory University, the Great Lakes University of Kisumu, theGovernment of Kenya, the Kenya Water for HealthOrganisation (KWAHO), and Water.org (formerly WaterPartners).Visit us online at:www.swashplus.org