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What if a village could get rainwater harvesting system for every 7 adverts published in local leading dailies?

They could!

Many villages and schools in the villages, currently water-starving, could have close clean water systems, see how.

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.

Regards,

RaHaSolutions

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.