Examining the status of water sanitation and hygiene in public primary schools of Kawangware slums in Dagoretti Sub-county, Nairobi County, Kenya.
This study examined the status of School Water Sanitation and Hygiene (SWASH) facilities in the public primary schools in Dagoretti sub-county with special reference on Kawangware slum; one of the largest slum in Kenya. A little is known about the current SWASH situation in Kenya. Available data and information were not only insufficient but also inconsistent and in some cases conflicting. The aim and objectives of this study was to investigated the status of existing SWASH facilities and services in public primary schools and critically check them against the basic minimum international standards and guidelines. The study employed cross sectional method, Semi structured questionnaire for interview and observation guide was utilized for data collection. Data was collected from the head teachers representing the 21 schools and from 357 out of the 365 pupils randomly identified from the 6 public primary schools in Kawangware slums using multistage sampling techniques. During the assessment observations and inspections were also made to verify responses. The data was analyzed using STATA and MS Excel. Student t-test was used to measure the significance of correlation between the observed and expected WASH facilities. The study revealed 4(19%) schools satisfied the minimum water requirement standard with overall result being strongly significant P=0.0015. Sanitation facilities were also available in all schools but the number of toilets available in the majority of the schools did not meet required amount and the difference was significant p=0002 for boys and p=0.0008 for girls. Hand Washing Facilities (HWFs) and Drinking Water Points (DWPs) were observed to be available in very few schools making the two facilities the worst among SWASH facilities, p=0.0000. The unavailability of soap suppressed the importance of the little existing HWFs. All the schools reported to get water from either municipality pipe water connection or boreholes within the school compound managed by municipality. There was no periodic water quality test in all the schools. Only 21% of girls flush toilets had waste-bin for used sanitary pad disposal. In all schools, there was no incinerator; solid wastes were disposed in open pit and combustible wastes burned in the traditional way polluting the environment. Among the 357 pupils interviewed, a cumulative of 9.5% pupils were able to respond to the four knowledge based questions while 18.5% could correctly answer the nine practice based questionnaire structured to test their knowledge and practice. According to the attitudinal test made using Likert scale, 44.4% pupils rated the WASH service they get in their respective school as satisfactorily good. Generally, this study affirmed that there is a lot to be done both in the hardware (SWASH facilities) and in the software (awareness creation) aspects of the general SWASH program in the whole Dagoretti sub-county. Recommendation is made to MoE, MoH and other relevant ministries and stakeholders to meet the standard by increasing the provision of adequate and safe SWASH facilities: water supply, segregated toilets for boys and girls, DWPs, HWFs, solid waste management and provision of regular health education aimed at bringing changes in knowledge, attitude and practice. The need for initiating studies in specific area of curbing the problem related to soap theft meant for hand washing and conducting nationwide similar assessment to establish Kenya’s current status in respect to SWASH coverage were also highlighted.