We started our third project with Just a Drop in 2011, aiming to increase access to clean, safe water and improve sanitation at two primary schools in the Ruiru district of Kenya, to help improve the lives of nearly 1,500 pupils and teachers.
The Thome and Kibii primary schools, which many pupils walk up to eight kilometres a day to attend, were previously plagued with unreliable, often unsafe, water supplies and toilet facilities. With frequent clean water shortages and large numbers of boys and girls sharing just a handful of latrines between them, pupils were vulnerable to water and hygiene related illnesses.
The good news is that the project has now provided two rainwater harvesting systems to produce clean drinking water, a block of eight latrines and two urinals for the boys, and a block of eight latrines for the girls, all complete with hand washing facilities. The schools have also established WASH (Water and Sanitation Hygiene) clubs to educate pupils in the practice of safe water and hygiene. With children acting as the best motivators within the community and household, we hope they will spread the word throughout the Ruiru district.
The project has significantly improved the water and sanitation situation at the schools, reducing the cases of water-related illnesses and even increasing the teachers’ commitment to their workplaces. We hope this project will change the lives of many residents of the Ruiru district and act as a stepping stone to improving things at many more schools in the area.
Colonel Mike Reynolds, Trustee for Just a Drop projects, has recently visited the Thome and Kibii primary schools. He said: “The brand new water and sanitation facilities are a huge change from the scant facilities that existed before at these two primary schools. They will undoubtedly vastly improve the health of both the pupils and teachers, and inculcate into all those young minds what health and hygiene standards should be, and how easily they can be achieved given the modest resources required.”
“As these children mature and eventually make their own way in life they will understand the importance of hygiene and sanitation, and provide these standards for themselves and their families. What started as a single project will have an ever spreading impact for hopefully many years to come. Well done and thank you Hayes and Jarvis!”
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