Remember when your mother told you to wash your hands after going to the bathroom? Public Health practitioners world-wide back your mom on this. Handwashing – especially after using the toilet – does a lot to minimize the transmission of diseases including some very serious ones like Cholera. Now picture the Misuuni Primary School with outhouse toilets, over 270 students, and one water faucet located 100 yards from the outhouses. Don’t even ask about toilet paper.
That was the situation at the Misuuni Primary School until August of 2018. Thanks to your support, there are now six water faucets fed by a rainwater harvesting system. Even better, with routine application of a few tablespoons of non-detergent bleach, the water meets potable standards for
It took hard work to make these improvements. But honestly, from a technical standpoint it was simple.The material and labor are all readily available in Kenya and it was not expensive – less than $40 per
As it turns out, other primary schools in the region have similar or worse situations with water and sanitation. Why not do it again? Indeed, that is precisely the plan.
The Miumbuni Primary School has over 800 students – over twice as many as the Misuuni Primary School – and an even worse sanitary situation. The economics are almost twice as favorable. Water and sanitation can be dramatically improved for less than $30 per student.
With the experience of building one successful system under their tool belts, the construction crew in Misuuni is ready to go. All we need is a modest amount of fundraising and EWB-NY will be ready to go too.
Hold on, you might say. If it is so simple, why don’t the people of the region do this for themselves? Well, the answer is not so simple. The people of the region, along with their government, are in fact doing a lot for themselves. Development has been quite rapid albeit uneven. But it is hard to explain
how severely under-funded the public primary schools are. Picture the bare building structures and limited staff. Imagine a beleaguered Parent-Teacher Association trying to raise funds from its impoverished members for everything – even the most basic water and sanitation needs.
Will we fix all the problems? No. But improving the water and sanitation situation is one way to help children and their families from being ground down under a yoke of poverty and disease while they work towards better things to come.
Won’t you join us?
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