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.
The extent to which people have easy access to good quality toilets affects their general health and well being – and that of the whole community. Enabling different people, with different needs, to make use of public toilets at different times can have a significant impact on issues like public health and exercise, public behaviour, use of public transport.
A lack of clean, accessible and safe toilets impacts on some people more than others. Some people may feel unable or reluctant to leave their homes and visit areas where they fear they will not be able to find a public toilet. Older people, mothers, fathers, and carers with young children, disabled people and people with chronic health problems – all need easy access to suitably equipped public toilet facilities.
Understandably, BDBA was designed not only to be open but also to be attractive to businesses.
Family businesses have connections with their local area going back generations – BDBA project is an opportunity for them to increase their level of the connection.
National and International chains, on the other hand, often have a strong social or community support ethos as part of their corporate policy, providing free or subsidised goods and services – and sometimes funding too – for local initiatives. They operate as part of communities and hold as much of a stake in supporting local projects and promoting civic pride as the locals themselves.
If BDBA project is not the kind that can lift our dignity, it cannot attract businesses.
The foregoing aside, why should BDBA project be similar to CBO projects?
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.
“Kenya Roads Board acknowledges that the task (RaHa has) been assigned is a nobble one and important”
KBR EXECUTIVE DIRECOR
Eng. Jacob Z. Ruwa, OGW
The assignment referred to is installing SANI SOLAR toilets on roads, to be used free of charge, in line with recent directive by the Kenya Ministry of Health aiming to improve public access to better quality toilets.
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.
Good public toilets are important therefore, we increase accessibility and quality of public toilets; and we ensure everyone is working together on this. That is why we publish about the toilets we provide and toilets in general.
We publicly review the causes of decline, set out a range of approaches that go beyond the traditional public toilets, and encourage partnerships between roads and local authorities, the private sector, and local people to devise solutions that are tailored to the needs of different people at different times of the day.
Our publicity accentuates the positive: there are some excellent examples of approaches to promoting public access to toilets, often involving the private sector, and engaging pro-actively with local communities to ensure that their needs and priorities are met.
Importantly, we hope to take taboo out of toilets, to stimulate discussion, to achieve better provision, and to promote a positive shift in attitudes and approaches to the whole issue of toilet provision and use.
Yesterday, Ben Phillips twitted “No one is coming in a cape, coming from outside, to save us. But together we can save ourselves.” “There is no justice, just us. That might sound sad at first but there is a huge power in “us”.”
When you nominate the water starved for water, toilet-less for toilets,… etc; others will promote rainwater harvesting and rainwater protection; and the your nominee gets water and or toilet. If you are an organization, your nominee gets water and toilets when you Makerainsafe for you.
Ben is Launch Director of the Fight Inequality Alliance. He was Campaigns and Policy Director for Oxfam and ActionAid International. He has lived and worked in four continents and 11 cities including New Delhi and Washington DC, as well as with children in poverty in East London. He has led programmes and campaigns teams in Save the Children, the Children’s Society, the Global Call to Action Against Poverty and the Global Campaign for Educationd.
He began his development work at the grassroots, as a teacher and ANC activist living in Mamelodi township, South Africa, in 1994, just after the end of apartheid.
He is based in Nairobi.