New Latrines for Matuiku
On 26 May 2012, the children of Matuiku Primary School, realised their long-held dreams for new latrines and clean water. Kenya Rainwater Association (KRA) came to the school (in Nyandarua North district of Kenya, a semi-arid area) on a saturday morning to officially commission the latrines and new water stand for the rainwater harvesting tank, and hand them over to the school.
The support of many
The journey to reach this point started in August 2011 when KRA launched the Global Giving campaign August challenge to raise much-needed funds for a rainwater harvesting system and improved sanitary facilities for Matuiku school. 98 donors from around the world participated in KRA’s challenge to raise a minimum of $4,000 in order that we could start the project as well as win a permanent spot on Global Giving’s website. We managed both – thanks to our wonderful supporters.
To date, we have raised $5,181. This has enabled us to fund the construction of the latrines and the tank base. The other activities we had hoped to do, were construction of a larger tank (50,000 litres) and a farm pond (50,000 litres) and drip irrigation system for vegetable growing. These activities will need to wait as we try to raise more funds (total to reach goal is another $12,000).
Construction work on the ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines began in February of this year. There are four latrines for girls and two for the teachers. The boys already had fairly good standard latrines. The latrines have a special vent pipe which prevents build-up of odour and reduces flies and mosquitos. Built securely with concrete and designed to be very private, they are far better than the typical wooden door latrines with pits that can collapse at any time. Girls in rural areas often miss school for up to four days per month in Kenya due to unsuitable latrine facilities and lack of privacy (mixed latrines). These new latrines at Matuiku will ensure girls feel comfortable coming to school throughout the year and are able to focus on their school-work. In addition, a solid concrete support to hold the 10,000-litre water tank (donated by Tile and Carpet Ltd. last year) with a tap for easy access to the water was constructed. This will ensure children can wash their hands and get water for drinking.
Tree planting and de-worming
Not only have the children benefitted from improved water and sanitation facilities, but with the support of AAR Health Insurance, a tree-planting project commenced at the school in March. 150 trees have already been planted and the children taught to care for the trees. If all goes well, more trees will be planted in September 2012. In addition, AAR provided a free de-worming service to 140 of the school children. De-worming at least every six months in Kenya is very important, particularly for young children.
Joyful commissioning ceremony
The commissioning event saw all the children gathered in the school grounds to witness the ceremony and try out their new latrines for the first time. The Projects Coordinator for KRA, Dr. Stephen Ngigi announced that the latrines and stand were officially open and was accompanied by Technical Assistant, Ronald Kamadi, who has tirelessly managed the construction. The Headteacher, Mr. John Ndegwa, was visibly overjoyed, as were the children, particularly the girls! Spot the difference in our photos below of new and old latrines!
It is clear to see that the situation at Matuiku Primary School has vastly improved and we will keep reporting back on how the children are doing.
Did you know that Global Giving now have a giftcard scheme where you can donate to our project on behalf of a friend or family member for their birthday, Christmas, Mother’s Day gift etc… Read more here: