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
Emusoma Primary School was established in the year 2012 by the Constituency Development Fund. They started with just four classrooms and added on from there. Since there's no other school nearby, the community together with the local government decided to buy this land and build the school together.
Mr. Patrick Osendo, the school's headmaster, said that ''The school has been enrolling more and more pupils each year due to the sensitization being done by the members of the community. The student population currently stands at 454."
Students arrive as early as 6 am for their morning sessions that begin at 8am. These go until 5 pm in the evening with bathroom breaks and lunch hour. Those living in the surrounding community plant and sell vegetables to earn a living.
Mrs. Fridah Mungala, an early childhood teacher said the inadequacy of water within the school has been one of their biggest challenges.
A hand-dug well was installed for the school by the Constituency Development Fund as well, but it didn't serve the school for long. Now, students can only get about 20 liters until the pump stops drawing water. It seems that this well just wasn't dug deep enough!
There is no other water source at school, so administration must send students out in search of water. The most popular source is an open stream; students go as a class to fill their five to 10-liter jerrycans with that dirty water. "The school is surrounded by a river and when it rains, pupils find it difficult to go to the school due to the overflow of water," added the headmaster.
Most of this water is used right away for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. Because of this clean water shortage, students and staff suffer from waterborne diseases like typhoid and cholera.
The school has one semi-permanent kitchen that is fairly clean. The school has eight latrines; three for the boys, three for the girls and the remaining two for staff. These are in fairly good condition because they were built in 2012.
There is one hand-washing station primarily meant for staff. "The health standards of the students in our school leaves a lot to be desired. Some of our students have been victims of waterborne diseases such as typhoid. We have tried seeking help from the county but no positive response we have received," said Teacher Evelyn Lukoye.
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! With this help, the school will consider sitting for their first national exam this year.