We have just had a chat with parent and children at Gatina Primary School, Gatina Ward, Nairobi.
Just before talking with the parents, we distributed pieces of Safepad to the girls and asked them to feel it. As they were at it we said that ‘in her lifetime, an average woman uses 11,000 tampons, pads and panty liners that make up 200,000 tonnes of waste a year. If the waste does not clog storm water drains, it ends up in the ocean where it stays for 500 years while decomposing’. We then asked them whether they would use reusable Safepad. They said YES in unison. Being light, luxurious and stretchy; we were not surprised by a question – does it leak.
Another question was – will it not smell. This question was brought about by our instruction that soap is not needed in washing Safepad. Smell indicates presence of bacteria, fungi and the like. Safepad is designed with a permanently bonded antimicrobial technology based on a treatment that leaves a positively charged layer on the fabric. This layer attracts and kills the negatively charged microbes, like bacteria and fungi. The treatment does not contain any harmful chemicals.
Turning to parents, we quickly pointed out that switching from single use plastic isn’t as easy as we think, it often means thinking a bit more about what we buy. We asked them to think about the lots of money they would spend in 4 years on the huge amount of disposable plastic jettisoned into the environment. Why do we, without thinking, pick tampons from supermarket, put them into our handbag and dump related plastic wrapper into the bin?
It was difficult for the parents to accept fact that tampons and sanitary items are found in rivers, lakes and ocean. Besides the plastic wrappers an individual pad can contain up to four plastic bags’ worth of plastic.
They allowed us to distribute Safepad to the kids.
REPORT BY ANITA LUKORITO
Kyuasini Primary Boarding School is officially opened today. This initiative is as a result of joint efforts between several associations including Action Aid and Raha Solutions. The boarding school is now expected to admit more than 200 boys and girls according to the headteacher Mr Kennedy Kitilu.
Spearheading the launch; Raha supplied water and they will continue refilling with water the water tanks in the school. They will also build Sani Solar toilets and distribute reusable safepad to the girls.
“We appeal to Safaricom PLC to support in-kind. Branding our water tanks with their good name will enable us and many others who are like us to get water, toilets and safepad from RaHa. We are admitting 200 students but we expect more by end of this year”, Mr Kitilu said. The headteacher hopes for further expansion as the community has responded positively to the idea.
As compared to the past, education is now seen as a vital tool among the people. Kyuasini, located in Makueni county, has had poor attendance of students. The surrounding community was so immersed in cultural practices that devalued education.
However, with the determination of the school head and several associations, the boarding school has changed the negative concept. Girls were the overly affected gender with the number of early pregnancies and sexual assault cases on the rise.
“The local community is responding so well to this idea in contrast to what was there before. Parents have now opted to taking their girls to school instead of early marriages. The negative traditions are slowly fading away. “, Mr Kitulu added.
The school will need more amenities as more students get admitted. Items like mattresses and beds will be needed to help accommodate more students.
According to the headteacher, students are to be admitted every week and the facilities may not be substantial enough to meet up the demand. Regarding this, the appeal for any assistance to help continues, the course will be of importance.
As much as girls will benefit most from the boarding facility, boys will also be at a better fit. Being a part of the program will not only impact on the school but also on the wider community.
We are happy to inform you that Kenya Urban Roads Authority responded positively, regarding building toilets on roads in Kericho County (see self explanatory twitter conversation above).
Brookside Dairy is nominated to mark rainwater harvesting system for Makindu Primary School, see photo of facebook page on the side.
We will build the rainwater harvesting system and mark the system with Brookside’s logo/name on condition that Brookside spreads (brags about) fact that they were nominated to do the marking.
The marking is free of charge.
The bragging must be on off line news media at no extra cost to Brookside Dairy.
The filters will be cased in either concrete or plastic shafts.
Rainwater from the drained area is fed into the inlet (marker 1), which is at the lower end of the shaft. A deflector plate sets up a radial flow.
At place marked 2, sedimentation of particles, especially the sand faction and above, takes place in the hydrodynamic separator. This is due to turbulent secondary flows within a radial laminar flow regime.
The settlable solids are collected at point marked 3 via an opening in the silt trap chamber. This chamber is evacuated periodically, via the by-pass central tube at intervals.
Four filter elements are located within the filter shaft (part marked 4). As waters flow upwards the finer particles are filtered out, whilst the dissolved pollutants are precipitated and absorbed. The filter is easily backwashed, and if completely clogged or exhausted, is easily replaced (often once per year).
At point marked 5, is clean water above the filter elements passing to discharge via an oil trap assembly. In the event of major spill, free floating oils etc are retained here. Normal concentrations of dissolved oils are retained within the filter elements.
We are thrilled to announce that we have today submitted to Billion Dollar Business Alliance (BDBA) our offer to build filters next to water ponds that BDBA are currently building in Kenya.
Our offer is based on fact that cleaning of water is not part of activities BDBA is doing. They are harvesting rainwater for agriculture and, apparently, they assumed that farmers would not use the water for domestic purposes. Our contribution to the BDBA project will enable beneficiaries of the ponds to use the water for drinking as well – for a large number of the beneficiaries, this will be their only water source.
We have also offered to build toilets in toilet-less homes and along roads that are within areas that drain water to the ponds. This will reduce pollution of water that will end up in the ponds. The SANI SOLAR toilets sun dry faeces and urine to form fertiliser that the farmers will need.
We sent our offer through BDBA’s Maimbo M. Malesu of World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). ICRAF, WFP and Government of Kenya are members of the BDBA.
Today, we received letter above from Kenya Roads Board (KRB). KRB’s executive director, Eng. Jacob Z. Ruwa, on behalf of the board, acknowledges that the building of solar toilets on the roads in Kericho County is noble and important.
Main reason for building the toilets on road reserves is safety of the public and maintenance staff. This mitigates against a range of actual and perceived safety risks to person and property that may be encountered at public toilets. These include anti-social behaviours such as vandalism, graffitiing, loitering, and drug abuse.
Building the toilets on road reserves is the only means of ensuring that entrances of the toilets face onto the most active space. This alone will reduce the likelihood of crime in set locations. While it is impossible to ‘design out’ crime, careful planning and detailing with crime in mind have been shown to reduce actual crime and unintended behaviours, and to improve public perception of personal safety.
USA based, Building Tomorrow, Inc., joins with RaHa in bringing toilets in Kyassonko Primary School and water in St. Timothy Bunyere Primary school.
Olivia Schneider, Program Associate of Building Tomorrow has just written to RaHa confirming there support.
As of May 2018, Building Tomorrow has opened 62 fully operational schools in Uganda, providing enough learning space for over 20,000 students and counting. Through their Thriving Schools Program, they have enrolled over 24,000 formerly out-of-school children back in school.
Altogether, through both their Building Tomorrow Primary Schools and Thriving Schools Program, Building Tomorrow serves over 101,000 students each and every day.
They continue to push towards completing their Educate51k plan as part of the Clinton Global Initiative, a five year, $12 million plan to provide a safe, local, permanent, quality and supportive learning environment for an additional 50,980 children across Uganda. And everyday they work to achieve their vision of a world where every child has access to an inclusive, quality education.
This Madaraka Day, we were invited to renovate toilets that have been used for only 6 years. 6 years is a very short period of time for toilets to require renovation. Something must have been done wrongly.
To avoid making the same mistake, we ask: what happened, especially to the walls and floors?
A lack of good toilets affects not only the quality of our schools, it also reduces the dignity and quality of our lives. After all, they are one of the basic facilities that we depend on. Good quality provision instils confidence in public facilities as a whole, helps to inspire positive impressions, and contributes to many other important aspects of life.
It is important that children have the confidence that the facilities they need are available when they are in school – children rightly expect accessible, clean, safe and well maintained toilets.