An assessment of sanitation in primary schools in Embakasi district, Nairobi
There is a need to meet the millennium development goals, especially to achieve universal primary education. However, there are challenges due to continual increase in enrollment of primary school pupils. Despite the increase in enrollment, quality education must be provided, and some factors that influence the quality of education are water, sanitation and hygiene. Lack of water sanitation and hygiene are the leading cases of diarrheal illnesses and helminthes infections. These diseases affect the participation, attendance and performance of children and impede their overall growth and development. The Government of Kenya has laid down regulations for the number of pupils per latrine and has also published a safety standards manual for schools in Kenya that expound on how sanitation facilities should be in schools. The aim of this research was to find out if these regulations are being implemented in constituency which has the highest enrolment and number of schools in Nairobi. Using stratified sampling method a sample of 147 schools was selected for the study with a sample randomly selected from each stratum. Data were collected by way of questionnaires and then compared with the expected standards. Analysis was done, among the following variables tested in the study were: level of cleanliness, protective materials provided for the personnel who clean toilets, availability of water in schools for hand washing among others. From the results, the sanitation standards as defined in the schools manual have not been wholly complied with in any school. For instance in nearly 14% of the schools girls and boys share toilets. There is a lot of work needed to improve the levels of sanitation in all primary schools in the district. It was concluded from this study that majority of the schools had scarce existence of sanitary facilities. In addition, the majority of the schools had moderate level of sanitation as there was scarcity of water and soap in some schools at the hand washing facilities. It was also possible to conclude that not all schools provided the cleaners with protective equipment or clothing and this is an indication that there are more people at risk of water borne diseases.