Improving Pupils Health in Kilifi, Kenya

Witney Rotary Club is a partner in a follow-up project improving toilet facilities in several more village schools in Kalifi, East Kenya.

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Rotary Clubs Combined Forces to Improve Toilet Facilities in Kenyan Schools.

Plans are currently well advanced to repeat  the project outlined here to improve facilities in more Kenyan Schools.

The original story began when Witney Rotary Club joined forces with five other local Rotary Clubs (Bicester, Didcot, Eynsham, Faringdon & District, and Oxford Spires) to fund a $40,000 project which improved sanitation in five schools in the Kilifi area of Kenya.

The project, administered by the Rotary Club of Kilifi with funding co-ordinated by the Rotary Club of Eynsham, involved the construction of pit latrines and new toilet blocks for the schools, leading to improved conditions day to day and the longer term health of the pupils. These replaced the old toilets shown with constructions similar to the one shown in the slideshow.

Together local clubs pledged US$13,320 with a further sizeable contribution received from District 1090 Funds, this was increased to the full project cost following a successful application for a Matching Grant from the Rotary Foundation (Rotary's own Charity Fund).

This project follows an earlier scheme connecting a clean water supply to the schools completed at the end of 2012 and funded by the Eynsham Club

The relationship between Eynsham and Kilifi centres on Eynsham Past President Pauline Lowe who was previously a member of the Kilifi Club

Following a survey of the schools in the Kilifi area by the Rotary Club of Kilifi; of the 40 surveyed, 22 had inadequate sanitation. Almost half! Perhaps that is because Kilifi County has some of the poorest communities in Kenya. It is in the bottom five in the country for educational achievement.

Five schools for age range 6-14 were selected for inclusion in the project. Each has 300-500 pupils with a total of 3,000 pupils that are benefiting. Their families also feel an indirect benefit, so the total number of people that this project has reached is significant.

The schools are owned and maintained by the County Education Office. Sadly government funds for maintenance are often not adequate and most schools have active Parent Teacher Associations raising money to sustain the schools. The Headmaster and PTAs now maintain the new latrine blocks.

But the project did more than just make it easier to go to the loo. There is a sort of 'domino affect'. Pupils are given hygiene training which leads to improved child health and in turn improved attendance rates. More toilets mean less waiting time for pupils needing to use them. So, more time at school and more time in class opens the way to better educational achievement.

That will flow into long term benefits all round. Thi swasn't just about improving the toilets. It was about creating a benefit for the whole community.

Will the local parents do their bit to maintain the new facilities to support this prospect? Well what would you do if you were in their shoes?

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