Habitat for Humanity Kenya Constructs classrooms, toilet blocks and provides water tanks
There is a renewed hope for Mbombo Primary School in Laikipia County following classroom construction, toilet block and installation of water harvesting system complete with water tanks by Habitat for Humanity Kenya in partnership with LG Electronics , Community Chest of Korea and Habitat for Humanity Korea. Before this intervention the pupils were using mud walled classrooms that had gaping cracks allover, leading to reduced attention and absenteeism. The number of pupils had also dropped greatly with parents opting to take their children to schools with better facilities.
Lack of clean and safe water and other learning facilities greatly affected the quality of learning at Mbombo Primary School. The 234 pupils came to school with small containers that they use to fetch water from the nearby rivers to sprinkle in the classrooms which had dusty floor. The trips to river not only took a lot of their learning time but also left them more tired and not able to concentrate in their academics thereafter. On the other hand, the school latrines were so dilapidated that the pupils couldn’t freely use them fearing they could cave in at any given time.
According to the school headteacher Mr. Mwangi Thombi, the school that was started in the year 1994 was maintained routinely by parents by smearing the mud walls, but with time they became tired considering the 10 Km distance to the river to get water. The government through constituency development funding had also constructed three classrooms but these were not enough. “When Habitat for Humanity Kenya approached us with the proposal to construct modern classrooms, we thought they were joking since so many other organizations had approached us before with the same ideas only for them to disappear, but we are now happy with the good work they have done to transform our school,’’ said Mr. Mwangi.
Habitat for Humanity Kenya through partnership with LG Korea, Community Chest of Korea and Habitat for Humanity Korea has completely changed the face of the school by constructing classroom blocks, toilet blocks for both boys and girls and also fitted a water harvesting system complete with two 10,000-liter water tanks. Through this initiative three new classrooms have been constructed for the upper primary school and two other classrooms have been constructed for the Early Childhood Development Education (ECD). With these new classrooms, the problem of dusty floor that exposed the learners to health hazards including respiratory diseases and jigger infestation has been sorted. The learners can now concentrate when the teachers are teaching them unlike before when they couldn’t concentrate due to lack of walls for the then classrooms.
“I am in Grade 6 at Mbombo Primary School, before our class was made of mud walls with gaps bigger than ordinary doors, we would be affected by dust. When it rained the weather affected us so much. My classmates were always coughing, others had running noses. The new classes look better and will protect us from theses diseases,” says Elvis Kibiwott.
VIP Toilet Blocks
The sanitation has also improved greatly, with two toilet blocks constructed for the ECDE section, and two blocks for primary section with five doors for girls and four doors with urinal pit for boys. Construction of the toilet blocks has greatly improved the confidence of the girls who now have access to decent and private changing facilities for their menstrual hygiene.
“Previously the girls in the adolescent stage would miss school on the days they were on their periods, for lack of decent changing rooms but with the construction of the new toilet block by Habitat the absenteeism has reduced and this will greatly impact on the academic standards of the girls in our school,” says Gertrude Anyona a teacher at the school.
Water Harvesting System
With the roofing completed, there was need to ensure that the rain water is harvested and stored for use within the school. Habitat for Humanity installed a water harvesting system and equipped it with three 10,000-liter water tanks. The pupils use the water for drinking and handwashing.
According to the headteacher Mr. Mwangi, due to the poor infrastructure the school performance greatly dropped, but with the support from Habitat for Humanity Kenya he is optimistic that the performance will greatly improve. “ The pupils are happy and they now feel they are in a school environment. The parents are also very happy and grateful to Habitat for Humanity Kenya for the good work since they had no capacity of constructing the classrooms, toilets or even the water harvesting system,” adds Mr Mwangi.