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).
You are like-d by the village around Makindu Primary School. They want you to mark their rainwater harvesting tank as illustrated above, for free, see more details here. When you agree, they get water which they currently have little of. When you agree, you will also enable many more similar schools and villages to get water and toilets.
Public toilets that are poorly located generate a sense of neglect, attracting vandalism, anti-social behaviour and social disorder. And lack of available and appropriate facilities at the right time encourages fouling, and treating diseases associated with open defecation such as typhoid, dysentery or cholera is a significant and costly task.
These issues, if not tackled effectively, can generate a cycle of decline, leading to more entrenched social problems, and seriously impairing quality of place and quality of life for local people.
Others have seen this reality before. HIGHWAY ACT 1980 Part VII Provision of Special Facilities for Highways states that “…112 Provision of picnic sites and public conveniences for users of trunk roads (1) The Minister may provide on land adjoining, or in the vicinity of, a trunk road that is not a special road a picnic site for motorists and others likely to use the road with space for parking vehicles and a means of access to and from a highway. An area of any such land as aforesaid in which there are, or are to be, provided such a picnic site, parking space and means of access as aforesaid is in this Act referred to as a “trunk road picnic area “.
“(2) The Minister may erect buildings and execute works on a trunk road picnic area for the purpose of providing all or any of the following:— (a) parking places for vehicles, (b) a means of access to or from the area from or to a highway, (c) public sanitary conveniences (including lavatories), and…”
“…(5) The Minister may provide public sanitary conveniences (including lavatories) in proper and convenient situations on or under land forming part of a trunk road that is not a special road, or adjoining, or in the vicinity of, such a road and may manage such conveniences…”
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.
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.
Recall that CS Samuel Keter nominated roads in Kerich County for toilets.
Recall also that we contacted roads authorities regarding the nomination.
We are happy to announce that Kenya Roads Board called us to say that they were sending us a ‘positive’ letter in response to our email.
Based on the call from Kenya Roads Board, we started negotiations with a dealer in containers regarding design of the toilets (see photo above). Containers because they are secure and fast –– we believe that the toilets should have been on the roads before the roads were opened for use therefore, Sani Solar toilets in shipping containers will ensure the needed efficient logistics and fast implementation.
RaHa joins Fight Inequality Alliance (FIA) because they #FightInequality. FIA is a global coalition which has organized a number of activities, including the global Fight Inequality Week of Action, to focus global attention on the scourge of inequality at regional, national, and local levels.
We #FightInequality whenever we #MakeWinners out of the water starved and the toilet-less –– we make winners because winners keep winning; an idea formally known as cumulative advantage, or the Matthew effect; which explains how those who start with an advantage relative to others can retain that advantage over long periods of time.
YES: global economic inequality is staggering and shaming –– the number of billionaires rose by the biggest amount ever in 2017, half the world’s population lives on between $2 and $10 a day. The 2018 World Inequality Report shows the share of wealth held by the top 1% of earners in the US doubled from 10% to 20% between 1980 and 2016, while the bottom 50% fell from 20% to 13% in the same period.
BUT: think about the story you tell yourself about yourself. In all the lives you could be living, in all of the worlds you could simulate, how much did luck play a role in this one? Have you gotten more than your fair share? Have you had to deal with more struggles than most? Nick Maggiulli asks this question because accepting luck as a primary determinant in your life is one of the most freeing ways to view the world. Why? Because when you realise the magnitude of happenstance and serendipity in your life, you can stop judging yourself on your outcomes and start focusing on your efforts.
Your EFFORT is the only thing you can control. So don’t let good luck put you on a pedestal, #FightInequality without spending – #makerainsafe for you, promote rainwater harvesting and promote rainwater protection. This will #MakeWinners.
Don’t let bad luck knock you down either—some of us are born with more advantages than others and some of us are born with less, but you should never let that define how hard you try — #FightInequality without spending. Start accumulating advantages, bottle rainwater for income, farm, car-wash… Win by having a reliable clean close toilet and water.
Listen to Kofi Annan, “…From the boardrooms of Wall Street to the streets of Athens, there is a growing consensus that the current economic model is not fit for purpose. We are far from agreement though on what should replace it. What is absolutely crucial is that the voices of the people most affected by inequality must be heard in the debates that follow”… (the emphasis is ours) …”This is why The Elders, a group of independent leaders founded by Nelson Mandela of which I have the honor to be the chair, is working with civil-society activists from the Fight Inequality Alliance to promote an inclusive, just, and bold agenda….”
For another day is the question, who is MOST affected by the inequality – the ‘winners’ are clearly most affected (they feel increasingly insecure) the same way the ‘losers’ are.