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
Mulundu Primary School is located in the center of Mulundu Village. Grandparents take care of children in Mulundu Village, since most parents have moved to the city in search of higher income.
Life here begins very early in the morning, with grandparents preparing their grandkids for school, which is conveniently located in the center of the village. Most pupils arrive at school by 7:30AM for classes that begin at 8AM. While kids are in school, grandparents head to their farms.
Classes end at 4:15PM for students to participate in 30 minutes of sports and games until 4:50PM when they are dismissed to return home and prepare for the next day.
Any help the school has received comes from the individual efforts of old students or employees. As he shared how grateful he is for a water project, he recounted some other acts of generosity in the past. "Sometimes we tend to think that our school is forgotten, and we have had to turn to those we feel can help us. I sincerely give credit to one principal of Chavakali High School who was born in this village and has been of great help to us. Anytime we want our children to participate in school games away in other schools, he provides the bus to us for free. He has given us computers and donated textbooks for our children. I am glad such organizations are now coming our way," said Headteacher Mudavadi.
Students wake up early to prepare for their 8AM classes. They bring small five-liter jerrycans from home, full of water to drink. There is a hand-dug well at school, but this well is seasonal and yields brown water, which many students fear drinking. Sometimes there are even bugs and small animals found floating dead in the water. Water from the well is fetched for domestic use only, so students must make their five liters of water from home last the entire school day. Furthermore, there's no way to even ensure that water students bring from home is safe and clean for drinking.
The immune systems of these children are still so weak, making clean water even more crucial for their health. The school has had to send children back home throughout the day, especially the girl child who is seriously affected by both poor environmental hygiene and personal hygiene.
There are 11 pit latrines at Mulundu Primary School. However, four of these are almost full, others have broken and old doors that don't lock, with worn out, hole-filled walls. The boys' urinal was full of stagnant urine, a breeding ground for germs.
There is one hand-washing station on school grounds, and a dish rack outside the kitchen. There is a small pit where all garbage is thrown. School board chairman Keiza Mutange shared, "I was born and raised from this community. As an elected chairperson of the school, for sure we are struggling with sanitation and hygiene practices. The health of our children while in school is therefore compromised because they frequently fall sick. As parents, we have to keep wasting time with them at home once they fall sick because we can't even afford proper medication because of our poverty."
Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training and Hand-Washing Stations
Training will be held for two days. The facilitator will use PHAST (participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation), ABCD (asset-based community development), CTC (child to child), lectures, group discussions, and handouts to teach health topics and ways to promote good practices within the school. The CTC method will prepare students to lead other students into healthy habits, as well as kickstart a CTC club for the school. This CTC club will oversee the new facilities, such as hand-washing stations, and make sure they are kept clean and in working condition. The two hand-washing stations will be delivered to the school, and the club will fill them with water on a daily basis and make sure there is always a cleaning agent such as soap or ash.
Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank
A 30,000-liter rainwater catchment tank will be constructed on school grounds. Teachers, students, and parents will gather the 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.
With adequate clean water, the school will have water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, hand-washing, and irrigation! Students will no longer have to fear drinking water.
Plans: VIP Latrines
These six new VIP (ventilation improved pit latrine) latrines will be split into three doors for each gender. Latrine materials will be mobilized the same way as the tank, ensuring the school feels these facilities are truly theirs.
School administration and parents are positive that with these new facilities and training, their students’ academic performance will improve. Students will be healthy and empowered to focus on what’s important!
Thank You for unlocking potential at Mulundu Primary School!