W.A.S.H. (water, sanitation and hygiene)
Inadequate access to clean water and sanitation kills and sickens thousands of people every day. Lack of proper sanitation, water and hygiene also have many other serious consequences. Children – and particularly girls – are denied their right to education because their schools lack private and decent sanitation facilities.
Women and children are forced to walk long distances and spend a large part of their day collecting water. Extreme thirst and diseases result in children’s diminished learning. Crops fail, livestock die and people are less productive due to illness. Without WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), sustainable development is impossible.
Access to clean water, decent sanitation together with hygiene practices reduces child mortality, improves health and education outcomes, and contribute to reduced poverty and sustainable development. Hence, it is high on the ChildsLife agenda.
ChildsLife Water Projects
ChildsLife goal is to supply as many Kenyan schools and communities as possible with clean drinking water and sanitation. ChildsLife builds on many years of experience in providing schools and communities with water and sanitation. ChildsLife explores all options together with local partners and experts to find a suitable solution designed upon local possibilities and requirements. ChildsLife implements water systems, ranging from relatively simple solutions such as water catchment systems to more complex bore hole and irrigation projects.
Access to water brings many opportunities in becoming self-sustainable which ChildsLife examines with local communities. For example, water can be used to operate greenhouses and irrigation systems. It allows communities to grow their own crops. Crops provide a source of fresh fruit and vegetables for their own consumption and the surplus is sold generating an income. Read more about ChildsLife Greenhouse projects.
Since 2002, ChildsLife has installed water tanks and water catchment systems with schools in several regions of Kenya including the Masaai area of Olepolos and the eastern highland regions. In most cases, a couple days rain is able to fill four 10,000 liter water tanks which is enough water to prepare lunches, allow for good hygiene practices and for the children to take home a little water to their families.
Water pumps, storage and irrigation
Since 1998 ChildsLife has been involved in bore hole and irrigation projects. In extremely dry areas of Africa it is vital that wells are drilled, water storage tanks can be built and if possible irrigation lines can be installed. Wells of up to 180 meters deep are sometimes the only way water can ever be found.
Over the years ChildsLife has built and installed many of these systems. As a result, ChildsLife currently has a waiting list of very needy regions and schools. Investing in water related systems helps people care for themselves and their own children.
Sanitation & Hygiene
Together with water systems, ChildsLife equips schools with toilets and hand washing basins. ChildsLife’s work doesn’t stop there. ChildsLife works closely with schoolteachers and communities so they can bring about change in local hygiene practices like hand washing.
Borehole in Kajiado
The extensive ChildsLife borehole project in Kajiado (including 170m deep borehole, 4km of piping to a number of animal troughs and human water points) has shown great impact on the daily lives of the Maasai community of over 6000 people. The women no longer need to collect water from the contaminated shallow wells, since they now have clean piped water available all year round.
The men can drench their cattle which are their livelihoods, and are able to provide a steady income and care for their families. More Maasai children go to school since traveling with the cattle to find water is no longer an issue. Apart from providing clean water for the schools, water is also used for vegetable growing which results in employment and additional income for the community.
Water tanks for Makueni schools
Makueni is a remote, dry and barren region east of Nairobi. The region suffers with widespread poverty and illiteracy as many of its inhabitants never attended school. Parents do realize that it is important for their children to have an education to be able to provide them with means to escape this poverty.
ChildsLife has been active in this region for many years and has supported a numerous primary schools. As part of this multiple school development program ChildsLife installed water tanks complete with rain water catchment systems, hand wash basins and drinking points giving all pupils access to clean drinking water.