40,000 Baringo residents benefit from life-transforming project – Kenya News Agency
More than 40,000 residents of the Bartabwa location in Baringo have a reason to smile following a life transforming project undertaken by World Vision.
The child safety and sanitation project has had multi-faceted ripple effects that have dramatically improved the lives of remote villages in the North Baringo sub-county.
When the nonprofit pumped Sh. 24 million into a two-year-old Moigutwo day high school in 2013, it never occurred to them that their intention to protect girls would propel the school to status. current.
The new entity which started with only eight students now has nearly 300 students thanks to a dormitory of 180 beds, two science laboratories and 4 classrooms set up by the organization.
Cabinet Secretary for Labor and Social Protection Simon Chelugui, who visited the projects, praised the project and pledged government support to work with organizations and other like-minded actors to protect rights children.
“We will all work hard to protect the rights of children and prevent any abuse or abuse of children in this country,” the SC assured.
According to the school principal, Mr. Paul Biwott Yano, the gesture helped bypass the challenges and difficulties of the region and made the school a center of choice attracting students from as far away as Nakuru and Eldoret. .
“We only have two schools in the entire neighborhood and both are between eight and ten kilometers from here, so the children were at risk walking these long distances, and they could lead to dropping out of the school. school due to teenage pregnancies, ”Mr. Yano said.
Backward practices like FGM and early marriage have also prevented girls from accessing the right to education.
“Child labor was practiced, with girls being exported to large urban centers to work as domestic helpers while boys went to Elgeyo Marakwet to work as farm laborers,” the teacher explained.
He says the upgrading of the school and World Vision’s awareness of the importance of education turned the tide and gave children the comfort to focus on their studies.
Water supply projects near the school have improved the protection of children as they do not have to go far to fetch water.
“Our children can now compete with those in other fields due to the improvement of the school, some who had even dropped out of school were fortunate enough to go back to school and study, one with two children is about to join the college after reaching college limits, ”said James Kipkiror, a parent at the school.
Another school that has benefited from the program is the Atiar mixed day primary school. The organization fitted a borehole drilled by the Rift Valley Water Services Board with a solar-powered pump and distributed it not only to the school but also to 300 households in the area.
According to the head of the institution, Kiptum Thomas, water problems interfered with normal learning as children had to leave school to fetch water from seasonal streams. Day schools missed or delayed their report to school because their time was taken up by fetching water.
“Because of the access to water, students can focus on what brought them to school, cases of water-borne illnesses are almost unheard of and we have also seen a marked improvement in school performance. “said the school principal to one of the remote parts of Baringo.
The two schools have also been a safe haven for children from neighboring villages affected by rampant cattle rustling.
A resident, Rose Kibarendo, shows us the dirty water of a seasonal stream that served the villagers and the school with the most distant walking more than 5 kilometers to queue for the precious commodity.
She acknowledges that indeed the village suffered from water-borne diseases often due to untreated water and that they also lost their children who accidentally fell into the stream during heavy rains.
“Our children missed school days because they were late for school due to the long queues at the river, but this project brought water to our doors through pipes,” he said. lamented the jubilant resident.
Alexon Mwasi, World Vision cluster manager for Baringo and Nakuru counties, said the organization’s goal was to protect vulnerable children by providing them with water and a safe boarding school.
“We aimed to provide water to schools and health facilities, but we went further and connected the last mile to 300 households, supported by three 50 cubic meter tanks and pipes,” Mwasi added.
The manager adds that they have helped scale up the project in other villages and have already drilled eight boreholes.
He adds that an ancillary benefit is a nutritional benefit where women can use the water to cultivate the vegetable patch and obtain vegetables for their families.
“We have also succeeded in making 80 of the 89 villages in the area of operation open defecation-free zones by helping households build toilets,” Mwasi said.
The organization has partnered with the national government through the Ministries of Interior and Labor and Social Protection to achieve its goals.
The SC was joined by World Vision Director Lilian Dodzo, Plan International Director Kate Maina-Vorley, Baringo Governor Stanley Kiptis, County Commissioner Henry Wafula and other children’s stakeholders.
By Christophe Kiprop