The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through Kenya Integrated Water Sanitation and Hygiene (KIWASH) Programme has supported 11 public learning institutions with sanitation and hand washing facilities in Busia County at a cost of over Sh5.7 million.
USAID Deputy Chief of Party Collins Odera said that the organization which has been in the County for the past six years saw the need to help the County to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
“`We have been in the County for the past six years supporting communities to access water, but when Covid-19 struck last year in April, we found it necessary to support schools,” he said.
Odera termed the completed works as a drop in the ocean, but expressed confidence that it will go a long way in helping the pupils within the targeted schools.
He urged the management of the facilities to ensure that the infrastructure is well maintained for longer use.
The official appreciated Busia County leadership, especially Governor Sospeter Ojaamong for participating in the official launch of the programme instead of delegating to his executive.
“As KIWASH, we are closing by the end of September but USAID also has another follow up programme called Western Kenya Water and Sanitation and Hygiene Programme.”
Busia County Deputy Director of Education Pamela Akello said that infrastructure is key towards achievement of quality education.
Akello noted that many partners only think of classrooms as infrastructure and ignore the issue of water and toilets.
“We gave a number of schools’ hand washing stations but schools do not have water,” she said, adding that one lesson has to be sacrificed in a day for the students to collect water from nearby rivers.
She urged the organization to support more schools, adding that a number of bright students prefer learning in other Counties due to poor infrastructure in Busia.
“If we continue this way, we are going to improve the quality of education and quality of grades that the County has been looking for,” she said.
The supported schools include, Aburi Indoli, Katira, Mundika, Sifuyo, Khulwanda, St Joseph’s Girls Musokoto B, Bulanda Katira Primary and Katira Secondary schools.
By Salome Alwanda