Running Water and Flushing Toilets – Improving Sanitation at Tarnos School

Running Water and Flushing Toilets – Improving Sanitation at Tarnos School

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.

This Sewerage Project proposes to build a sewerage system (septic tank, sewerage pipes and soak-away) to improve the sanitation at Tarnos School. There is already clean, fresh water available from a borehole with water pump, storage tanks and pipework, all powered by a generator, but the only toilets available are a basic toilet block that isn’t connected to sewerage alongside a row of long-drop toilets.

In 2021, Ecologia Youth Trust received a £30,171 grant from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers Support Network to fully fund the installation of a new toilet blocks and sewerage system at Tarnos school to improve the health and wellbeing of the children who attend the school.

A fresh 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. The installation of a new sewerage system will keep the water within the borehole clean and safe to use, as it is currently at risk of contamination from the existing unsanitary “long-drop” toilets (pits with a platform for squatting). The construction of a sewerage system is a top priority to enable full use of the new fresh water supply at Tarnos, to provide sanitation and to enhance health and wellbeing for all in the school community.

To date we have achieved:

  • Building new toilet blocks to accommodate ceramic toilets and sinks with running water
  • Laying all wastewater pipework for the toilets, dormitories, kitchen and dining hall.
  • Beginning groundwork to build septic tank and water treatment area to recycle water.

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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.