How important is clean water and proper sanitation for education?
by Super User

Not so long ago pupils of Shisasari Primary School, Kakamega County had to make trips to the stream down the valley to fetch water for use in the school.

That has since changed thanks to the partnership between the School’s Management and Kakamega Local Urban Forum (KKLUF[1]) through Western Water and Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO) that has delivered a 30, 000 litres Ferro-cement water tank, four Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) latrines (2 for girls and 2 for boys) and hand washing facilities. The school community also benefited from water management and hygiene trainings.The project was jointly financed by the Civil Society Urban Development Programme (CSUDP) and WEWASAFO in the ratio 5:1.

Now, the school’s population of 788 pupils (340 boys and 323 girls) and 16 teachers now have access to clean safe water and proper sanitation. “I am the happiest teacher as my pupils are now secure as they no longer have to cross the road to go down the river in search of water. They now have water in the compound and they stay within the compound, said Jackbeth, a teacher in the school. Underscoring the importance of access to safe water and sanitation for a good education Khalid Kulundu, a Class 7 pupil and the Minister for Water in the school had this to say, ‘’Our class rooms and toilets are now clean as result of the water. We no longer suffer from water borne diseases.” His words were echoed by Jacklyne Muchiti a Class 8 pupil and the Speaker of the Schools Students Council as well as by the school's head teacher.

"Now we no longer waste time and we in class 8 have enough time to study as water is available in the school compound for cleaning our plates and for drinking. It is a big relief to have water in the school compound, even the community around want to fetch water from the water tank”, said Mr. Protus Milimo, the head teacher during an interview.

WEWASAFO Director, Mr. Humphery Buradi urged the school management to ensure that the water is treated with chlorine pellets so that it is safe for drinking. On her part, Ms. Lucy Ndiho of CSUDP, the project's focal point, marvels at the results of the intervention which addresses the constitutional right to clean water and reasonable standards of sanitation, the right to health, the gender question, education, environmental management aspects and citizens participation in county affairs as demonstrated by the level of community involvement in the project implementation.

1 KKLUF is one of fourteen (14) Local Urban Forums (LUFs) established through the support of CSUDP.

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