Sanitation Project

1.7 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation globally, 2.5 million of these people in Nairobi’s slums. Often the only solutions are outdoor pits, or plastic bags which are then thrown into the street. The situation is particularly problematic for women and girls, as the public toilets, and often long walks to reach them, leave them vulnerable to physical and sexual assault, a common occurrence in the slums. The danger of inadequate sanitation is well documented- communicable diseases are rife within communities without sufficient hygiene provision, with diarrhoeal diseases such as cholera and dysentery contributing to many avoidable deaths. The WHO (World Health Organisation) states that “better water, sanitation, and hygiene could prevent the deaths of 297 000 children aged under 5 years each year.” Many of the SoHs had no toilet facilities, or ones in very poor condition. With support and funding from WCVA (Wales Council for Voluntary Action), 15 SoHs have already benefitted from upgraded toilet and handwashing facilities which not only provide sanitation, but also safety.

Below are some examples of the work done through our sanitation project:

St Jerome School of Hope:

St. Jerome School of Hope (SOH) is situated in the Kibera Slum of Nairobi. The initial state of the restroom facilities was subpar, with noticeable cracks in the floor. In an effort to improve hygiene and sanitation for the 71 learners (comprising 28 boys and 43 girls), we undertook a comprehensive renovation of the existing structure.

The refurbished building now boasts three modern and hygienic toilets, ensuring a clean and safe environment for the students. In addition to upgrading the restroom facilities, we have implemented a water collection tower at St. Jerome SOH. This tower enhances the site’s capacity to store clean water, contributing significantly to improved water accessibility.

The collected water is now utilised for essential activities such as handwashing. Furthermore, the used water is efficiently collected and recycled to serve as flushing water for the toilets, creating a sustainable and eco-friendly system within the school.



Genesis School of Hope:

Genesis School of Hope (SoH) is situated in Mathare, where a mere 17% of residents have access to toilets in their homes, and only 29% live within 30 meters of a public latrine. This dire situation poses significant challenges, especially for children, girls, and women, who are compelled to navigate long distances in inadequate lighting to reach insecure and often dysfunctional toilet facilities. The unsanitary, insecure, and poorly lit toilets in Mathare contribute to incidents of rape and sexual violence, fostering early pregnancies and the transmission of infectious diseases, including HIV.

Genesis SoH, catering to approximately 100 learners, primarily from the local community, serves as a hub for those seeking library facilities. Initially, the school faced the predicament of having only two drop pits shared among all the learners. These facilities were housed in an aging stone building topped with a tin roof, posing safety concerns for our students. As part of our sanitation project, we took a proactive approach and constructed an entirely new toilet facility within a secure building, complemented by dedicated handwashing facilities. This initiative aimed to provide a safer and more hygienic environment for our learners, addressing the pressing challenges associated with inadequate sanitation in Mathare.

Genesis SOH is located in Mathare Slum with a population of about 400 learners . These learners attend informal schools around the SOH. The learners used to use a toilet which they had to pay to use – each visit costs 5 shillings. Five (free to use!) toilets are now complete and available for students. 3 hand washing points have been set up.



Gitathuro Huruma School of Hope:

This is Gitathuro School of Hope (SoH) nestled in Mathare, where an enthusiastic community of 80 learners thrives. Initially, the school grappled with inadequate sanitation facilities—two drop pits housed in a precarious wooden shack situated on a riverbank. Not only did this setup lack access to clean water for handwashing, but there were also significant structural safety concerns raised by the School of Hope members, rendering the existing toilet practically unusable.

Faced with these challenges, learners often had no choice but to venture outside the school premises to access alternative facilities, often at a considerable distance. The situation was exacerbated by the fact that these journeys were often undertaken at night, with insufficient lighting, posing serious safety risks especially to our female learners.

In response to these pressing concerns, our sanitation project has successfully implemented a transformative change. We have constructed four brand-new toilet facilities that prioritize safety and comfort for our learners. These facilities come complete with dedicated handwashing stations, supported by the installation of a 1000-litre water storage tank, ensuring a sustainable supply of clean water. The result is a positive shift towards a safer and more hygienic environment that the learners can confidently embrace.