We all know that clean water, basic toilets, and the implementation of good hygiene practices are essential to our survival, health, and well-being.
In Kenya, diseases relating to poor water and sanitation is one of the leading causes of death in children under five years of age, with 50% of its total population receiving treatment in hospitals due to sanitation-related illnesses. This is because Kenya has the third-largest population of people whose only source of water comes from contaminated sources, and access to WASH facilities is unavailable – or insufficient – in many schools and communities. According to a recent report by The World Health Organisation and UNICEF (2019), only 59% of Kenyans have access to basic water services, approximately 50% of rural Kenyans do not have access to toilets, and only 14% have access to hand-washing facilities. Only 29% of Kenyans have access to safe and basic service sanitation.
Our sewerage project aimed to build a sewerage system (septic tank, sewerage pipes and soak-away/water treatment) to improve the sanitation at Tarnos School. There was already clean, fresh water available from a borehole with water pump, storage tanks and pipework, all powered by a generator. This water system was installed in 2018 and has proven to be reliable and of value to the school, supplying its kitchen and dormitories with clean, fresh water, and has been designed to accommodate additional use from the sewerage system. Before the fresh water system was installed, the school depended on collecting rain from the gutters in rain barrels, but there was never enough water as the school is in an area of low rainfall with reliable rains only twice a year. The availability of clean, fresh water from the 180m-deep borehole made an enormous difference to health and wellbeing of Tarnos’ children, and has provided water for irrigation to grow food on site.
With a new sewerage system installed, the water within the borehole can now be kept clean and safe to use, as it is no longer at risk of contamination from the existing unsanitary “long-drop” toilets (pits with a platform for squatting).
Thank you so much to our funder, The Institution of Mechanical Engineers Support Network, for making this project reality for the children at Tarnos School.
What the children have said:
Name: Benedict K.
Age: 8 Years old
“It’s nice to have flushing toilets and sinks with running water, they make me happy. I’ve never used them before so a teacher will have to show me how to use them.”
Take a look at the YouTube links below to see what Pamela and some of the other children at Tarnos think about their new flushing toilets!