KEWASNET supported the construction of 18 handwashing stations and 5 sanitation facilities in schools in Kiambu County. The focus was to ensure that the school children are able to maintain hygiene while they are in school thus reducing the chances of spread of Covid 19. The implementing team from KEWASNET had an opportunity to visit 3 schools and this is what they had to say.
Ngure Primary school
During the visit at Ngure Primary school, the Parents Teachers Association Chairman, Mr. Stephen Mainga said,
Before KEWASNET came to this school we only had three water points in the whole school and furthermore they were improvised buckets which we needed to fill all the time. This was not only tiresome but also the buckets kept breaking and be non functional all the time due to the high population of children in the school. Children could also wait in long queues just to wash hands. But since the completion of the handwashing stations, we must say as a school community, We are happy. Really happy!!! Imagine now 8 children can wash at one particular time.
Because of your donation, we have also promised as a school management that we shall ensure there is soap at all times at the handwashing facility. Says Mrs Ng’ang’a, the head teacher of the school. Further the headteacher appealed for more support for masks and sanitizers which at times become a challenge to provide especially for the vulnerable children.
She adds, “We also think that we need to talk to our children not only on how to WASH hands but also on Menstrual Hygiene Mnagament. This we also welcome KEWASNET to support if possible”
Mwiki Primary school
The school has the highest population of pupils in the entire Kiambu County. As we enter the school compound we are welcomed by the Deputy Headteacher, Mr Odhiambo, who upon introduction takes us straight to the site where handwashing stations were built. It is next to the latrine block and we could see children wash the hands as they get out of the latrines.
My Odhiambo quickly request the children who were handwashing to quickly display how to wash hands before allowing of them to speak to us.
“My name is Janet. (not her true name). I am in class 7 in Mwiki Primary school. Yes, our teachers taught us how to wash hands and ensure we promote hygiene in the school. Since the construction of this point, I personally wash my hands here unlike at the bucket station since there is enough flowing water. I also like it because the water do not spill over to me.”
On behalf of the school management, Mr Odhiambo also appreciated for the support given by KEWASNET to rehabilitate the latrines in the school compound which he said were not in user-friendly condition.
“If KEWASNET has another chance to help the community, I would like to invite them to this school. Honestly, we have very vulnerable children, who need not only masks and soaps but also food, since the food they eat in school, could be the only meal to enjoy in a day.” He concludes
St patrick’s Primary school
At St Patrick’s primary school, the head teacher, Mrs Edith Enonda had this to say, “I am telling you that since the Covid 19, we now have the new norm which has streamlined the WASH behavior in this school. You see children after visiting the toilets or coming from the field run straight to run the taps and wash hands”
Kimujju Primary school
At kimujju Primary school, the school has innovated other approaches to ensure enough supply of soap for handwashing. The special unit primary section has been supported and trained to make liquid soap. As a result of this is has been easy since the construction of the handwashing stations to ensure adequate and continuous supply of soap.
The headteacher, Mr Wilson Ngige said, “We wanted to initiate the idea of WASH clubs in the school to help us maintain the hygiene and soap production culture in the school. This will also instill responsibility in children so that they can understand other benefits for handwashing. For example, we think that the reason why we have been recording low absenteeism in our school is due to high hygiene standards that has reduced incidences of water borne diseases like diarrhoea.
However, KEWASNET has done wonderful work for us. We believe are children will enjoy good health and the well-being especially for girls in the school.”