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
Shiyabo Secondary used to share classrooms with the primary section, but they were recently asked to build their own classrooms. The facilities were being severely strained, and the administration couldn't afford to sacrifice any longer. The secondary section has since been able to utilize the other side of the property to build a couple of their own classrooms - but they're grateful that the students are also OK with having class outside under the trees. The poverty index in this community is very high, which makes it difficult for this recently displaced school to find support.
Students report to school at 6am, and head to their classrooms for morning study hall until 7am. Before regular classes, they do cleaning chores around campus for 30 minutes, and then 30 minutes of assembly time. Eight lessons are taught between 8am and 5pm, after which students are required to stay for clubs and extracurricular activities until 6. Some other students even stay until 7 for extra help.
The secondary section shares water with the primary section, too. The primary school has a borehole that was drilled by another organization many years ago. This borehole is also open to community members. Between a community population of 336, a primary student enrollment of 745, and 225 secondary students, there are well over 1,000 people trying to use this one pump. It's grossly overused, and there's always a large number of people unable to draw water on any given day.
The organization that installed the pump did not pay special attention to the quality of their materials, which are now rusting and contaminating the water.
The secondary students must now walk to the other side of the property to get water from the borehole. It was actually the primary school's headmaster who contacted us and asked us for help. Not only is her well overcrowded, but she felt bad for the older students who had to begin walking with heavy containers on a daily basis.
The secondary school has two of their own classrooms, but they're still sharing pit latrines with the primary section. There are only four of these! They are overcrowded, filthy, and full of flies. There are no hand-washing stations at either section.
"This school was started with no apparent plan for future growth and expansion. The main aim was to have an accessible local school for the children of this community. This resulted to the two schools sharing the available resources. With the long queues being witnessed around sanitation facilities during breaks, one can easily guess the condition. It is pathetic, hygiene measures are hardly maintained, and the students are therefore exposed to water bone diseases," Teacher Joyce Chesoli told us.
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 be set aside for each gender. 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. Once finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff. The secondary school will no longer have to struggle against hundred of primary students and community members for their fair share of water. In fact, there might even be times when the primary students need to borrow water from the secondary section!
We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve – and these higher standards will translate to better academic performance for students attending Shiyabo Secondary School.