Star of the Sea School
Because half the pupils are Muslim, the school has built water points that make it easier for them to wash before prayers.
Star of the sea primary school is located in Coast province, Mombasa County. It was founded in 1909 by a French Catholic Order, popularly known as the White Sisters. Today, around half of the pupils are Muslim, reflecting the area's population.
Star of the Sea suffered from a severe shortage of water and sanitation facilities for its 1,200 pupils. This led to problems of congestion around the few water points available, resulting in arguments and wasted time. Muslim pupils who make up half of this Catholic school's students, struggled to wash before prayers. Worse still, some pupils used water points in the latrines to wash utensils, leading to high rates of illness and poor school attendance.
How was this addressed?
With support from ARC, Star of the Sea decided to install water tanks and build new hand washing facilities. This includes taps that positioned so that Muslim pupils can easily wash their feet before prayers.
Star of the Sea School says the new water points have greatly eased the congestion problems and ended the practice of washing utensils in latrines. As a result, rates of diarrhoea have reduced, leading to increased school attendance. Twice a term the Catholic Church sends sisters to talk to pupils about the importance of good hygiene, and the need to respect resources by not wasting water.
Picture credits: Kenya Organisation for Environmental Education