This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water And Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO). Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).
Welcome to the School
A normal day in Iguyio Village begins with women waking early to go to the river to fetch water. Once they return home with full containers, they help prepare their children for school. While children are at the nearby Iguyio Primary School, fathers leave to work on their farms and mothers stay at home doing domestic chores. Mothers are the family members who take sole responsibility for the cleanliness of the home. After all the household work is finished, women join their husbands working on the farm.
The school does not have its own water source. Students must find water elsewhere, and normally resort to a river approximately one kilometer away. A lot of time is wasted when a classroom runs out of water and students have to travel to the river.
Students bring jerrycans and jars to fetch water. The jar is used to scoop water and fill the larger container. Students occasionally swish sand and water to clean the inside of jerrycans. These jerrycans don't have covers, so the water inside is at risk of further contamination on the way home. The river water itself is already highly contaminated from surface runoff, nearby farming and latrines, erosion, animals, littering, and open defication. Despite the students and community members often boiling this dirty water before drinking, cases of typhoid and diarrheal sickness are still often reported. Once in a while, drinking this water can result in fatal complications. To avoid such an ill fate, fathers and mothers spend a huge amount of resources to get medical care for themselves and their families.
There are two double-door pit latrines, but they are all in poor condition. There are no hand-washing stations at the school, not even near the latrines. There is one dish rack for students to dry their water containers and other utensils, but that is not nearly enough. Garbage is disposed of in what was observed to be a very full compost pit.
After the assessment of the school during our first visit, it became obvious that there is a huge deficit of information concerning hygiene and sanitation both among Iguyio Primary School students and the greater community. When talking with Headmistress Adelide Mwinamo, she shared that, "the community surround the school is bad, and community members don't embrace proper hygiene and sanitation standards. The ability of community members (including students) fetching water from the passing river has highly exposed them to waterborne diseases like typhoid and diarrhea."
Thus, the headmistress wrote a letter on behalf of Iguyio Primary School expressing their need for assistance. Headmistress Mwinamo discovered WEWASAFO and their water and sanitation work through a successfully completed project at a neighboring school. She knows that after a water project, her students' health will improve. Not only that, but their academic performance will improve as well!
Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training
The headmistress, her staff, students and teachers have all agreed to do what is necessary to make this water project a success. They will be required to attend two days of hygiene and sanitation training whereat they will learn how to maintain water and sanitation facilities and keep their drinking water clean and safe. The facilitator plans to use PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Training), ABCD (Asset-Based Community Development, CTC (child to child), discussions, lectures, handouts, and demonstrations to teach many topics concerning water, health, hygiene, and sanitation. The CTC method will prepare students to lead other students into healthy habits, as well as kickstart a CTC club for the school.
Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank
A 30,000-liter rainwater catchment tank will be constructed on school grounds. Teachers, students, and parents will gather the local materials needed for this project, including sand, ballast, bricks, and hardcore. This contribution will fuel a sense of responsibility for the school and community to take care of their new facilities. Once materials are mobilized, the WEWASAFO team will arrive to lead the construction effort.
Plans: VIP Latrines
Two triple-door latrines will be constructed, providing three new latrines for each gender. Latrine materials will be mobilized the same way as the tank, ensuring the school feels these facilities are truly theirs.
Plans: Hand-Washing Stations
Two hand-washing stations will be delivered to the school before training. These come in the form of two 60-liter containers fitted with a tap. The training facilitator will demonstrate how to properly wash hands, and then students will have a chance to practice in groups. The CTC club will be responsible for filling the hand-washing containers on a daily basis.
The school has great faith that with new facilities coupled with training, hygiene and sanitation standards will improve. Thus, they anticipate a positive change in students' academic performance.