Flushing Toilets And Sanitation At Tarnos School

Flushing Toilets And Sanitation At Tarnos School

We all know that clean water, basic toilets, and the implementation of good hygiene practices are essential to our survival, health, and well-being. 

In Kenya, diseases relating to poor water and sanitation is one of the leading causes of death in children under five years of age, with 50% of its total population receiving treatment in hospitals due to sanitation-related illnesses. This is because Kenya has the third-largest population of people whose only source of water comes from contaminated sources, and access to WASH facilities is unavailable – or insufficient – in many schools and communities. According to a recent report by The World Health Organisation and UNICEF (2019), only 59% of Kenyans have access to basic water services, approximately 50% of rural Kenyans do not have access to toilets, and only 14% have access to hand-washing facilities. Only 29% of Kenyans have access to safe and basic service sanitation.

Our sewerage project aimed to build a sewerage system (septic tank, sewerage pipes and soak-away/water treatment) to improve the sanitation at Tarnos School. There was already clean, fresh water available from a borehole with water pump, storage tanks and pipework, all powered by a generator. This water system was installed in 2018 and has proven to be reliable and of value to the school, supplying its kitchen and dormitories with clean, fresh water, and has been designed to accommodate additional use from the sewerage system. Before the fresh water system was installed, the school depended on collecting rain from the gutters in rain barrels, but there was never enough water as the school is in an area of low rainfall with reliable rains only twice a year.  The availability of clean, fresh water from the 180m-deep borehole made an enormous difference to health and wellbeing of Tarnos’ children, and has provided water for irrigation to grow food on site.  

With a new sewerage system installed, the water within the borehole can now be kept clean and safe to use, as it is no longer at risk of contamination from the existing unsanitary “long-drop” toilets (pits with a platform for squatting). 

Thank you so much to our funder, The Institution of Mechanical Engineers Support Network, for making this project reality for the children at Tarnos School.

What the children have said:

Name: Benedict K.

Age: 8 Years old

Grade: 1

“It’s nice to have flushing toilets and sinks with running water, they make me happy. I’ve never used them before so a teacher will have to show me how to use them.”

Take a look at the YouTube links below to see what Pamela and some of the other children at Tarnos think about their new flushing toilets!



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susie Kemp

Susie has 30+ experience as a creative copywriter, editor, and proofreader, starting out as a 20-year-old copywriter in the Mad Men world of early 1990s advertising in South Africa. Ever since, she’s had a love affair with creative conceptualisation, thinking outside of the box, writing to a deadline, and being thrown in the deep end!

She took an MSc in Publishing at Edinburgh Napier University as a mature student, in 2015, and continues to keep herself busy working as a copy-editor, proofreader and copywriter in book publishing, corporate communications, and publishing project management.

Apart from her love of working with independent authors, Susie has a fondness for working in the third sector and likes to use her corporate communications and marketing experience to support projects close to her heart. She has lived and worked in the Findhorn area for 25 years, and has been involved in a number of third sector projects and organisations, and family businesses.

Working at Ecologia Youth Trust helps Susie to live in integrity with her values of supporting the next generation to be the best that they can be, and she sees it as a way to give back to Mama Africa, the beloved continent on which she was born.

Ellen Shaw

Ellen joined the Ecologia team in June 2018 as Marketing and Communications Manager. Ellen has lived in Scotland for 6 years and has worked for non-profit and charitable organisations across varied fields. She currently shares her passion for helping young people through Ecologia Youth Trust and she works as a dancer and dance teacher in her spare time.

Robyn Cooper

Robyn is the Associate Director of International Projects, having previously worked within the team as a Project Development and Marketing Officer from April 2019 until May 2021. As Associate Director, Robyn is co-leading the International side of Ecologia with Founder and Director, Liza Hollingshead, bringing a new energy into Ecologia as they look towards the future of the charity.

Liza Hollingshead

Liza is the founder of Ecologia and Director of International Projects. She was born and educated in South Africa and worked there as a high school teacher. She moved to live in the Findhorn Community in 1974. She started Ecologia in 1995 after being introduced to Dmitry Morozov, the founder of Kitezh Children’s Community in Russia, and was inspired to support the community in its mission to rescue orphaned children from institutions and give them homes, families and education in a supportive environment.

This led to projects supporting disadvantaged youth and children in South East Asia and in East Africa. TRead more about Liza’s story here.