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New kitchen at MCK Tusaidie Watoto Nursery School, Kibera, Nairobi has been completed!

New kitchen at MCK Tusaidie Watoto Nursery School, Kibera, Nairobi has been completed!

The kitchen at MCK Tusaidie Watoto Nursery School prepares food for the 45 children in the Nursery School and also many of the 180 children from the project who attend local Day Primary Schools and who return to the project for lunch.

The meals are nutritious, with beans, vegetables and, when the budget allows, meat.
The site is terribly cramped and the kitchen is squeezed into a tight corner.
When four Karibuni trustees visited the project in February 2012, they found that the kitchen was full of smoke from the ‘open’ jikos (wood-burning cooking stoves). The walls were blackened, evidence of how much smoke was circulating. Smoke has been a constant problem here, and there have been attempts to pipe it away. These have not worked and the staff complained of smoke inhalation and sore eyes.
We left promising to do something about the problem.

We asked the project management committee to put together a proposal and when we returned to the UK we contacted the British Humane Association, who had previously helped with a grant to support the installation of energy saving stoves at Limuru, another Karibuni supported project. The Association’s response was rapid – they agreed to provide a grant to enable the kitchen to be completely refurbished and for the installation of new stoves which capture the smoke and duct it away.
During the school holidays the work was completed and the kitchen has been transformed.  A new hard-wearing terrazzo floor has been laid, part of the roof raised to improve ventilation and the new stoves installed.
The staff have a much improved place to work. We and they are most grateful to the British Humane Association for their practical support.

This is what the Head Cook has to say: “Before the new jikos were brought I used to dread coming to work because of the kitchen environment. Sometimes it would get so smoky that we would sit outside just to catch some fresh air. My eyes used to hurt a lot but all this has changed after the new jikos were installed. The jikos use less firewood and it takes less time to make the fire. On behalf of the other cooks I would like to say thank you for considering us and may God bless you”.

Makena, the Senior Social Worker at the Project comments: “I am grateful for the good work which has been done to improve the working conditions in the project kitchen. Before the renovations were done, when the jikos were lit, the kitchen would be filled with smoke and even if I wanted to have a word with the cooks I would stand outside and communicate through the window for the fear of smelling of smoke the whole day. Since the renovations were done there is a great improvement and we are all glad now”.

The Kitchens before the refurbishment

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