Karibu! Welcome!

Since 2004, EWB@ MSU's professional and student volunteers have worked with community members in Khwisero, Kenya to provide water and sanitation infrastructure at the district's 58 primary schools, making it easier for Khwisero's children to avoid waterborne disease and get an education.

In that time, the group has grown from a small club to one of MSU's premier student organizations, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund seven borehole wells, six composting latrines and a biogas latrine that serve thousands of community members.

Thank you for joining us as we continue to work hand-in-hand with local partners to make a difference in one small part of our world. As Western Kenya's limited internet access allows, we will update this blog while in-country with the successes, stories and lessons provided by our work.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Update of Primary Schools

Hello from Kenya all!!

It is wonderful to be back in Khwisero and working on the project. Kiera and I have been in the village since June 27th. We visited all five primary schools which EWB-MSU has implemented a deep water well to date. The following details our findings:

Shirali Primary (Borehole drilled Phase I, Composting Latrines Phase II and III ): Well is still functioning, but there is a slight orange water problem. We have been collecting water from this well for the team's drinking water. The first compost latrine is being used by the male teachers and the first compost pile is ready for land application. The second composting latrine is being finished. Fundis have been working for the past week and it is being painted yellow with a black stripe, very nice! The new headteacher, Lydia, is also a member of the new EWB Board. The school is "feeling very comfortable with the EWB projects." We met with the School Management Committee (SMC) to be official handed over from EWB-Kenya and Board to the Shirali Primary SMC. We are now living with a member of the SMC at his compound near Shirali and our meals are being donated by the surrounding community. They are treating us very nicely. For an update on the biogas latrine project at Shirali see Eric's post.

Munyanza Primary (Borehole drilled Phase II): When we arrived Khwisero, we learned that Munyanza's pump had not been functioning. During the first week here we went to a parents' meeting. Jackson (our EWB-Kenya Coordinator) explained the history of the project to the parents in Kiswahili and Kiluhya (the local language). He stressed that the school must take ownership for the project in order for it to succeed. Last week we learned that Munyanza had fixed the pump and are making preparations for Team 3 to stay in the community.

Ebuhonga Primary (Borehole drilled Phase III): The well is functioning with no problems. The school has started several clubs with gardening projects, some including community members. They grow watermelon, animal fodder, and kale which they will sell in Kisumu to raise funds. The gardens are watered with the water from the wells EWB funded. They have also collected some funds from selling the water to community members.

Emwaniro Primary (Borehole drilled Phase III): Although we have not been able to meet with the headteacher yet, we have learned that the well has been operating with no problems. They have been selling the water to community members. The SMC has also been meeting to discuss the proposed distribution pipeline project. We will be meeting with them next week.

Ikomero Primary (Borehole drilled Phase III): The well has been functioning with no problems. Ikomero has collected the most funds for selling the water to community members (1 shilling/20 Liters). They are ready and eager to continuing working with EWB-MSU on latrine projects.

We also visited the two new schools in the East:

Mwisena Primary: We met the headteacher and ate lunch with the teachers. The ground surveyor have identified the point were the borehole will be drilled. They are very excited to received our project. They are very interested in the composting latrines because they are unable to dig pit latrines very deep because of the high water level. They currently do not have sufficient latrine facilities for there students. Also, the headteacher is a member of the board.

Ekatsombero Primary: We had a meeting with the School Management Committee to discuss the project. A Water User Management Committee has already been formed to manage the borehole. It was a very productive meeting in which they asked a lot of questions. They had a meeting with the parents' after we left to inform them and discuss the project.

Both new schools are ready to host Team East and are anxiously awaiting their arrival.

The EWB Board: We have met several members of the new board and will meet with all on July 10th. The office is in a small building next to the Khwisero Jail. Our neighbors in the building are the District Education Officer and the National ID Card Registrar Office.

I think that is all I have to report for now!

Laura Moon
Co-Project Manager
Phase IV
0725 700 244

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