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The Implemeted Project at GACHOIRE GIRLS SECONDARY SCHOOL will be described in the following paragraph (visited on 15th July and reported by Moses Wakala):

Implemented by: Gachoire Girls, Board of Governors, Biomaida Construction Company, EPP
Ecosan components: 124cbm biogas settler (BG), Anaerobic Baffled Reactor with 6 chamber (6x1 m) (ABR), Effluent piping to Napier grass plantation, Biogas reuse for cooking in kitchen, 3 Dry Toilets and Urinal.
Construction time: April 2007– August. 2007; Operation started: 2008

Current state:
The visit showed improvement in general sanitation aspect in school. There is ownership of the project as explained by the Deputy Principal of the school. Waste treatment in the Biogas settler is ok. This is shown by the quality of effluent at the expansion chamber and the more gas production from the plant. Biogas produced is utulised at the kichen in cooking mainly staff food (Tea and Lunch). During the time of visit, there was enough gas in the kitchen to cook with a pressure of 48 cm H2O column. The gas burners are not well maintained and they are full of food remains.
Training is being organized for operation and maintenance early September when schools open. The Baffle Reactor is just complete with the sealing done. The top manhole covers are not airtight and the plaster is not even. It is now connected to the digester but it seemed like not much effluent was flowing out to the ABR as indicated by the dry channels at the manholes. The dry toilets are not in good use. Just a few male teachers use the urinals. All the toilets except one are permanently locked. The teachers need to be re-trained so as to accept this toilet as a sanitation option to them.

Management of facilities:
The facilities are managed by the school in general. There is the environmental club and a sanitation prefect and a teacher who ensures that the school hygiene is to standard. Students are responsible for cleaning the toilets. One Ground man is assigned on daily maintenance of the Biogas plant in terms of checking for leakages, filling water traps with water and keeping grass short at the plant. The whole project is an asset to the school and the Board is very concerned about its success.

Challenges of project:
An interview with the Deputy Principal revealed some un-satisfaction of the school community with EPP. The school as up to that time was not ready to sign the handing over documents because of what they claim that what EPP promised them is yet to be realized. The Board wanted an explanation why the toilets promised to them by the EPP management has not been done. They also said they cant take responsibility of new facility which they have little knowledge about. The trainings done are not sufficient.

Way Forward:
Follow-up training are to be organized very urgently to ensure project ownership and sustainability. This will entail the users training and O&M training to the selected people from the school. Reuse of treated effluent is also an issue to handle with the trainings instead of just dumping it to the nearby river.

Following photos show the demonstrate the project:

Dry Toilet Block at Gachoire Girls

ABR in Gachoire Girls High School

Gachoire Girls Gas Burner in Kitchen

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