Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Monday, June 3, 2013

Health, construction and community programs join for hygiene and sanitation workshop

After months of planning and hard work from the GVI Construction Team at Mkwiro Primary School it was time to unveil the brand new water-collecting system and hand washing facilities. GVI had designed and constructed a series of gutters, pipes and water tanks as well as hand washing basins at the toilet facilities in Mkwiro Primary School so we could introduce hand washing and its importance as a daily routine for the students.

Construction volunteer Laura finishes installing gutters at the school

The MEGA day ahead of us all was kicked-off by the Health Team crossing the channel over from Shimoni mainland to Wasini Island where Mkwiro village is situated. Once there the Construction, Community and Health Teams put their heads together and devised our plan of attack for water tank maintenance tips, education hints and health facts!

We started the day by presenting a PowerPoint slide show to the Headmaster and teaching staff to emphasise the importance our work has for them and our aim for sustaining the new facilities. We designed the slide show as a package to present to the school for presentation to the classes. GVI’s method for continuing the hand washing education is an implemented step-by-step process to teach the students why we wash our hands, when we wash our hands and how we wash them.

Health volunteer Jackson and Construction Officer Val lead a presentation with teachers at Mkwiro Primary
AND NOW…for the fun part! Class by class we headed over to the shiny new facilities for an interactive demonstration. First up in the teaching spotlight was Val McCormack (Construction staff) and Laura MacLean (Construction volunteer) to lead a demonstration of hand washing by lathering their hands in soap and scrubbing away! At the end of each demonstration students volunteered to come up and practice a good hand scrubbing. Students were more engaged when the demonstration became interactive and loved seeing the grime from their classmates hands wash into the sink and swirl down the drain. Mission accomplished!

Community volunteers Sarah and Joseph demonstrate how to wash their hands
GVI believes our implemented system will remain sustainable for Mkwiro Primary School as all the water is collected directly from the school roofs by gutters, pipes and tanks. In the dry season with minimal rain, sea water is plentiful and just as effective for soaping up and washing hands your hands in. Soap used for hand washing is produced by a local Women’s Group and can be purchased for use in the school, again sustainable for not only Mkwiro Primary but also the Women’s Group. The educational PowerPoint slideshow package will be a great way to show the students exactly why we wash our hands and the nasty illnesses and disease we can avoid by doing so.

Health, construction and community team all together
HUGE thank, thank, thank you [from all of GVI] goes out to Val McCormack (Construction staff), Shafii Vuyaa (Construction staff) and the countless motivated volunteers who had joined the GVI Kenya construction project and made this crucial hand washing and hygiene project possible! You have all made a MASSIVE difference in implementing something that will improve hygiene and sanitation at Mkwiro Primary School through the roof! J

Jackson Vukovic – Health Project Volunteer

A pupil practices washing her hands.
Health volunteer Jackson models excellent hand washing skills
Some of the many signs placed around the school grounds