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
Muhudu Primary School was founded in 1914 by community members who provided the land the school is now built on. The school currently has a population of 330 boys, 370 girls, and 16 teachers. The school also employs one cook and one security guard. (Editor's Note: While this many people may have access on any given day, realistically a single water source can only support a population of 350-500 people. This community would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)
A normal day for people living in this area starts very early in the morning. Parents prepare breakfast and get ready to go to their farms, while children prepare for school. School activities begin at 7 am with morning study hall, then assembly at 8 am when the teachers on duty give announcements. Students attend regular classes from 8:15 am to 4:15 pm with an hour lunch in the middle. Finally, the pupils end the day with game time from 4:15 pm to 5 pm.
Teachers are in charge of teaching various subjects ranging from science, social studies, maths to languages. Pupils attend lessons, play in the field, and help clean the compound as well as their classrooms. This school is situated in a very quiet environment, but the road network is unpaved, which presents a challenge during the rainy season.
Though this is one of the oldest schools in the area, water and sanitation is still a looming challenge. Pupils are forced to carry water every day from their homes to be used at the school for various purposes like preparing tea for the teachers and cooking food during lunch time. The school cook makes a lunch meal for both the teachers and class eight pupils... maize and beans for students and rice and beans for the teachers.
Students report that they primarily go to open hand-dug wells in their villages, using a bucket and rope to draw up the water and fill their small jerrycans.
The school was given Life Straw containers to help in purification of the water pupils carry from their homes. Even though these containers are meant to purify the water, some of them have been turned into hand-washing facilities.
Not only are students tired after carrying dirty water all the way from home to school on a daily basis, but they are still suffering from waterborne disease after these great efforts.
There are 10 pit latrines for students and teachers combined. Because the school has to depend only on the water students are able to carry, there sometimes isn't enough to keep these latrines clean. And with such high enrollment at this school, that puts 70 students on just one latrine. That's way above the recommendation from WHO (World Health Organization) to have no more than 25 to 30 students using one latrine!
The headteacher has been searching for help in building more facilities to help ease this congestion and overuse, and the opportunity has finally arrived. "As a school, we have been trying so hard to get donors to help us put up extra latrines and water storage tank but have not been successful. The Water Project through WEWASAFO is a great blessing to us, for we surely know that all these issues which have been a real shame to us will now come to an end in... I believe that this is an opportunity that has come at its right time because if you look at the situation of our school, you may not have a smile but pity and unseen wishes of help will be running deep in your heart. The Constituency Development Fund have been promising to help us but still no much done on that part," the headteacher shared.
As mentioned above, the school has converted a Life Straw container into a hand-washing station, but it's not located near the latrines.
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: VIP Latrines
Two triple-door latrines will be constructed with local materials that the school will help gather. Three doors will serve the girls while the other three serve the boys. And with a new source of water on school grounds, students and staff should have enough to keep these new latrines clean.
Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank
A 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank will help alleviate the water crisis at this school. The school will also help gather the needed materials such as sand, rocks, and water from the spring for mixing cement (students have already started helping). Once finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff. Students will no longer be responsible to find enough water to carry to school every day.
We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. These higher standards will translate to better academic performance!