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Creating better schools and happier students - IRC and Football for Water

Published on: 21/03/2016

On 17 March, IRC made a key presentation on factors that enhance and hinder effective WASH in school programs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague. This was for a Kenyan delegation from Nakuru who were in the Netherlands for the Football for Water programme.

There are currently a total of 48 schools involved in the Football for Water programme. An overview of the key challenges currently existing in the programme in Nakuru under the Football for Water programme cited were the bills of water facilities at the schools. One suggested way forward as a means of minimizing the payment of these bills was the development of rainwater harvesting tanks which is currently being built in a number of schools. Another issue was raising funds for operation/maintenance (including vandalism of facilities). Some form of revolving fund through the school health clubs was suggested as a way of creating some income to maintain the facilities.

One of the key messages, also crucial in the area of WASH in schools, is the importance of emphasising the balance of software (e.g. hygiene education) and hardware (the physical facilities) in the schools. It will be interesting to see what happens in the second phase of this programme which should be starting in 2017 and how the key lessons learnt will be further taken up. If this is done it will possibly help to not only create better schools and happier/healthier students but also provide as an example of a quality WASH in schools programme that can replicated and scaled up in other areas of Kenya.

The Kenyan delegation included Kinuthia Mbugua (Governor), Motari, Joseph Mogos Motari (Cev County secretary), Samuel King'ori Wairia (County public health officer) and Gathiaka Daniel Mwangi Gathiaka (Deputy county public health officer). From the Dutch side there was Pim van der Male (DGIS), Sylvia van Oevelen, Adriaan Mels (Regional Manager VEI), Anne Barendregt (Manager Operations) and Inge Klassen (KNFV) and Marielle Snel (IRC).