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
Evojo Secondary School was opened in 2014 by parents who couldn't afford to send their children away for school. The Community Development Fund supported them by building two classrooms, while the villagers donated money for students to get their uniforms.
Students report to Evojo Secondary School by 7am to start their morning study hall. Normal classes go until lunch at 1pm for 30 minutes of lunch served by the school cook. Math discussion groups and speed tests are for 30 minutes, and then another class until the 3pm trip for water. The school grounds, classrooms, and latrines are cleaned before extracurricular activities.
The people living in this neighborhood are mostly farmers who plant tea to sell to Mudete Tea Factory.
There is no water source on school grounds, so students have to leave to find water. They make the long walk to Mwabianga Spring, which is about one kilometer away.
Since this is a community water source, students have to wait for locals to fill their containers first. People living near the spring just wade into the water to fill their containers under the pipe, while students do their best not to get their uniforms wet - They bend down low to fetch water from above the discharge pipe.
Even if the water was clean at this point, there's still the long walk back to school. The containers are lidless and open to contamination on the way back and during storage. By the time the water's consumed, there's no guarantee it's safe. In fact, students often complain of diarrhea. Not to mention the backaches and exhaustion that result from carrying such heavy containers!
There are three doors for boys and just two for girls. Girls used to have two others, but they collapsed. Since the school only has pit latrines for students, so teachers and staff have to walk to the primary school. All of the existing latrines were also paid for by the Community Development Fund.
Boys’ and girls’ pit latrines in this school have been built next to each other, which is against the rules of the ministry of education. The ministry gave them a warning to build latrines for one sex further away because they'll come in and board up the old ones. These latrines all smell because they lack ventilation - and because there's not enough water with which to clean them.
There aren't even any hand-washing stations for students to use after the latrine or before eating. This is probably another major reason why students are suffering from diarrhea so often.
Principal Eric Danga said, "We need sanitation facilities at this institution! As you can we see, we have a shortage of latrines and there is no source of water within the school compound. I am positive that if the facilities are brought to us, we shall improve in our academic performance. Please do not deny us that chance, we really need facilities."
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. Normally we give three doors to the girls while the other three serve boys, but it is likely administration will set them aside for girls so they no longer have to share with primary students. 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. 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!