Back to school with better access to water

from ACTED
Published on 04 Jun 2018 View Original

Students maximize on their studies with better access to water and sanitation

Poor Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) conditions have severe repercussions on children; they are more vulnerable to water-related diseases, such as cholera and diarrhea, which are on the rise. In 2017, schools in the Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) regions, particularly Mandera County, faced closure due to lack of reliable sources of water. This happened as the region faced acute water shortages following a country-wide prolonged drought.

Guticha Primary School in Mandera County welcomes 220 students. Access to water is a great challenge for the pupils as well as the entire school administration. The school lacked a permanent source of water and often relied on rainy seasons leftovers for cooking, cleaning and drinking. A few years back, the school given an 8,000-liter masonry tank courtesy of the Mandera North Constituency Development Fund (CDF) that they used to harvest and store rain water. The tank which had been used for years could not hold water anymore due to frequent leakages caused by its deplorable condition.

To ensure sustainable water flow in the school, each child was required to carry 3 liters of water every morning from their homestead. Thanks to funding from CDCS, ACTED built a permanent water connection and installed a 10,000-liter tank to ensure the time wasted while fetching water for is maximized for studies. Along with providing essential infrastructure, all the girls were provided with sanitary towels which is crucial to ensure adolescent girls do not miss school during such crucial days in the month.

For an even greater impact, ACTED conducted hygiene promotion sessions to ensure the students adopt proper hygiene practices in school and at home. WASH in Schools enables students to be agents of change as they encourage their families and communities to improve their water, sanitation and hygiene practices.