Growing up in a clean and safe environment is every child’s right. Every day over 700 children under the age of 5 die of diarrhoeal diseases due to lack of appropriate Water, Sanitation and Hygiene services (WASH).

Despite COVID-19 putting the spotlight on the importance of hand hygiene to prevent the spread of disease, hundreds of millions of school-going children do not have access to handwashing facilities. Access to clean water, basic toilets, and good hygiene practices not only keeps children thriving, but also gives them a healthier start in life.

Project Aims:

  • To improve sanitation, reduce sickness and promote health in Kanjoo school.
  • To connect Kanjoo school to a clean water source for drinking and handwashing purposes.
  • To provide taps and basins outside the toilets and classrooms.
  • To pipe and provide a tap in the kitchen area for food preparation, cooking and cleaning utensils.

Did you know that there are children who have never seen a handwashing basin? This was the case for the children at Kanjoo school. The smiles on the faces of the pupils and teachers when they were asked to wash their hands in the new basins was very satisfying. Some were even afraid to touch the basins because they were “too white.” They had to be reassured that the basins were washable and no amount of dirt will make them lose their sparkle.

The water piping project was the result of a partnership between The Hummingbird Initiative and the Meru County Government. The borehole, developed by the Government, ensured that the water was available. THI then provided and laid the piping to make the water accessible within the school grounds. The provision of taps, basins and water drinking points was the final stage of the project.

The community has long suffered from diverse waterborne diseases such as amoeba, typhoid and cholera, as well as hygiene-linked diseases such as COVID-19 and diarrhoea. A readily accessible and reliable water supply, accompanied by education and training on how to wash their hands effectively, is a vital weapon in the fight against those diseases.

With this in mind, THI piped the water to the areas that matter most: the washrooms, the kitchen, and beside the classrooms. The piping also entailed introducing a water tank that will ensure the water pressure is maintained and none of the taps will run dry.