Wash in Schools (WinS)

Implemented by Maji na Ufanisi (MnU), WinS is a program that improves the quality of education for disadvantaged children through participatory, innovative and pro-poor water and environmental sanitation solutions in public primary schools in Nairobi.
2008Kenya

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting

Location Data

NairobiNairobiUrban

Maji na Ufanisi (MnU) is implementing the Wash in Schools (WinS) program in public primary schools in Nairobi County where water and sanitation remains a massive challenge thus putting the health of the pupils in jeopardy and compromising school retention and the children's academic achievements, which are greatly affected by the availability, accessibility, and quality of sanitation facilities. WinS aims to provide safe drinking water, improve access to clean water and sanitation facilities and promote lifelong health for children in schools. WinS is achieved through the provision of infrastructure and promotion of hygiene among schoolchildren, their teachers, and parents. Through the program, benefiting schools have experienced improved hygiene and the concomitant decrease in disease. This has in turn improved school attendance by the children and enhanced their academic performance.

Participating schools in the WinS program are identified by MnU in collaboration with the county government. The county education office helps to identify the most needy schools. Sometimes schools send requests to MnU for their intervention but, even then, MnU consults with the county education office to ensure that there will not be duplication of effort with other service providers. The WinS program is designed to ensure that it is holistic, sustainable, and eco-friendly. WinS not only seeks to establish and/or renovate WASH infrastructure but also intends to effect attitude change about sanitation among pupils, teachers, and the community at large. The program is implemented through several activities. These are:

  1. Construction and renovation of water and sanitation infrastructure: this involves renovation and/or construction of toilet blocks, construction of water points in schools, installation of rainwater harvesting where possible, installation of water storage tanks, and construction of incinerators.
  2. Hygiene training: This is done simultaneously with the infrastructure work. First to be trained are the teachers, school management committees, and all the support staff in the schools. They attend a training of trainers (ToT) seminar organized by MnU and facilitated by a public health officer. This is to ensure that they are on board with the program and also in a position to continue passing on the knowledge to the pupils and other parents even long after the WinS program ends. The pupils are then trained on proper hand-washing, safe excreta disposal (proper toilet use), and menstrual management for girls and general good grooming. Proper hand-washing training is done to the whole school sometimes during assembly.
  3. Establishment of WASH clubs in schools: the selection of the members is done by the teachers. The membership comprises pupils from lower primary to class seven. Maji na Ufanisi, with the help of the club patrons, trains members on hygiene, good and bad hygiene behavior, the "F" diagram, safe excreta disposal, safe drinking water, oral hygiene, and menstrual management for the girls. The club members then become peer educators who pass on the knowledge to the rest of the pupils. With the WASH club members, WinS also establishes WASH forests in the schools where there is availability of land. This involves planting of trees and sometimes fencing the WASH forests. The trees are maintained by the WASH club members.

The program also supports the schools to participate in international WASH awareness days, such as Global Hand Washing Day and World Toilet Day.  

WinS is a program that is using a holistic and sustainable approach to solve WASH problems in schools. (1) Vandalism of WASH equipment, (2) Lack of commitment by parents and guardians, (3) A vast majority of public primary schools are roofed using asbestos, making it impossible to harvest rain, a potential source of cheap water for the schools.

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