A clean and healthy learning environment is an important aspect in allowing students to focus their full attention on their lessons. Many factors play a role here, not least the condition of the sanitary facilities.

At the Bethel Community Development Center, one of our partner schools in the Kangemi and Kawangware slums in Nairobi, Kenya, the situation was particularly precarious in this respect.

The school rooms are located on a rented residential property, which at that time had only one toilet for the 102 students, the teachers and the 35 tenants, which was also used as a bathroom by the latter. Maintaining the necessary hygiene and keeping the toilet clean was hardly possible and there were frequent disputes between the school and the tenants. The teachers therefore had to clean the toilet more than three times per lesson, which severely impaired the continuity of the lessons and thus also the concentration of the children.

In July 2018, the school’s principal, Immaculate Lumasayi, therefore applied for support for the construction of new toilets. The jointly developed solution was the installation of two semi-permanent, i.e. removable, toilets that the school could take with it if it moved to another property, so that the investment would be safe-guarded. The toilets should also be easy to use and require as little water as possible to clean, since this must be purchased by the school. This also reduces the frequency with which the toilets need to be cleaned, allowing for an even more continuous supply of instruction.

The installation took place in the following months until the last final installment was then paid out to the school in May 2019. In total, two toilets for 132,930 Kenyan shillings (equivalent to just under € 1,100.00) now enable the students at the Bethel Community Development Centre to enjoy better hygiene and more concentrated work.