Daniel Njaga, Gamewatchers Safaris’ Head of Corporate Affairs, brings us an important message regarding our latest community project to improve Water, Sanitation & Hygiene conditions for pupils of a primary school near one of our wildlife conservancies.
Message from Daniel Njaga, Head of Corporate Affairs at Gamewatchers Safaris, May 2017:
At Gamewatchers Safaris we support a range of community projects and we give special focus to education and the needs of the children in the communities near to the conservancies where we have our Porini Camps. With the help of our clients we have been able to provide funds for classrooms, furnishings, equipment, uniforms, shoes and school fees.
Our latest project addresses a much-neglected but vital issue for school children in rural Kenya and that is the subject of provision of adequate toilet facilities in the schools.
The simple fact is that Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) conditions in rural Kenya are a big problem. Unfortunately it remains a silent problem as cultural attitudes make it difficult to discuss the subject of toilets and hygiene at policy and community level. As a result, we have a sanitation crisis that silently gnaws at school welfare and education. Good sanitation to schools is a fundamental attribute that contributes significantly to dignity, overall well-being and even academic performance.
It has been stated that “Clean and safe toilets help keep more girls in school and increase attendance rates. Far too many girls miss out on education just because of the lack of a clean and safe toilet”. This is all very true and a 2014 survey found that in some parts of rural Kenya less than half of schools met the standard pupil-latrine ratios for girls, and only one third of schools had a private, lockable place for girls to wash or change while at school.
Besides inadequate toilets, the above survey also reported that even those available are poorly maintained which is also a big challenge. For instance, less than 25% of latrines had locks and only 16% were clean.
The reasons are varied from lack of enough support from the government to low prioritization of WASH requirements which are assumed to be peripheral to learning. Most school authorities will first commit their scarce budgets to books/stationery and classrooms as the first order facilities in providing education while remaining silent or wishing away the sanitation requirements.
In some schools teachers and pupils use the same toilets while in many others boys’ and girls’ toilets adjoin. In all these cases toilets become a source of great discomfort as it hurts the dignity of all parties concerned.
The issue is particularly important for girls because they need more privacy especially when they reach puberty as they need appropriate, easy and discreet disposal of used sanitary items, an important provision for girls while at school. Hence low standard WASH conditions in schools may hinder girls’ ability to concentrate in class, or even to attend school during their periods, or at worst to drop out of school completely.
Indeed anecdotal data in some parts of the country report significant increase in school enrollment after construction of decent toilets.
Please help the pupils of Ilmonchin Primary School
We seek to raise US$ 14,000 for Ilmonchin Primary School. It has a population of about 300 pupils and the whole school population relies on just two cubicle latrines for both pupils and teachers (see image below). Even these are in deplorable condition and far below the recommended sanitation access rations of 1:25 for boys and 1:30 for girls.
- TAPS – access to water
- TOILETS – access to sanitation
- TRAINING – capacity building for sustainability and
- MONITORING – to ensure interventions work
Dig Deep aspires to create a clean and safe environment in which children can learn, and give communities the training and support they need to enhance their health and well-being sustainably (find out more at www.digdeep.org.uk).
We trust our partnership will bring a lasting solution to the sanitation problem in this and later on hopefully other schools within Ol Kinyei Conservancy. Dig Deep has a line of experts and will construct Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) latrines. These are solid structures that are well ventilated and the pit is lined so that it cannot contaminate ground water. Also the cubicles will be secure, safe and easy to maintain.
The final outcome will be:
- 2 toilet blocks – one 5-door latrine with urinal for boys and one 5-door latrine with shower cubicle for girls.
- Training – the school will receive WASH training and support through regular visits and monitoring by Dig Deep.
- All administrative costs by Dig Deep and Gamewatchers are borne by our respective companies, hence every donation will go directly towards the project
The artist’s impression of the planned toilet blocks:
How you can help?
We encourage your kind support to this target fund of US$14,000 by making a donation of $50 or more to help us reach the goal and have the new toilet block built for the 300 school children at Ilmonchin Primary School.
To make a donation please click here
Every dollar donated is a bequest of dignity to the Ilmonchin School community and your contribution will make a real difference to the lives of 300 children.
Please contact me if you would like any more information about this project and thank you to all who contribute.
A list of all contributors and the progress of the project will be included in a future newsletter and on our Facebook page and website.
Gamewatchers Safaris’ Community Outreach Projects
Over the years, we at Gamewatchers Safaris and Porini Camps have participated in various projects within our partner communities and the conservancies. We support a number of life-changing initiatives to which our clients are invited to make contributions and donations go a long way in assisting the communities surrounding the conservancies and leave a life-long impression in their lives.
Find out more about our all our projects at https://www.porini.com/about-us/supporting-communities
Not yet booked your next safari?
Get in touch to let us know your proposed travel dates and budget and our expert Safari Advisers will email you suggested itineraries and prices. Or, if you are still researching your options then sign up for our free 6-part How to Book A Safari email series and discover how to make the most out of your time and budget.
on Friday 26th May 2017 at 09:50