Another 1,087 Students in Uganda have Access to Safe Sanitation

In the past few months, in addition to rehabilitating four boreholes in Uganda, we also built three school latrines. These latrines have impacted a total of 1,087 students at two primary schools.

With one in three schools lacking access to safe water and sanitation, it’s important to provide holistic solutions that cover both basic needs. By building latrines, open defecation is reduced; students are able to stay in school longer as they no longer have to leave school in search of a toilet; the hygiene of the school is improved; and dignity is restored!

Ocelakur Primary School Boys’ Latrine

Prior to Surge’s intervention, Ocelakur Primary School had three latrine structures, but only one was usable. One latrine had collapsed due to heavy rains in 2020, and the boys’ latrine was full and the structure was crumbling. The entire school – students and teachers – were forced to share one facility as there was no other option.

The latrine being share by everyone at the school

The lack of latrines led to students practicing open defecation, putting their health at risk, and missing school, which affected their learning.

The dilapidated boys’ latrine

After construction, 358 boys now have a brand new latrine. With an attached hand-washing facility, students will also be able to wash their hands at the appropriate times throughout the day. Nyarwa Esther, the Deputy Head Teacher, shared:

[This latrine] provides privacy and security for the users. With the hand washing facility attached, our children will now develop the lifelong attitude of washing their hands with soap after using the latrines.

Ocelakur Primary School boys’ latrines, after construction
Ogolai-Kakure Primary School Girls and Boys’ Latrines

Ogolai-Kakure Primary School originally had two latrines – one for boys and one for girls. Unfortunately, in 2019 the girls’ latrine collapsed due to its poor construction. Since then, all 729 students have been sharing one latrine. The school was worried about the health of the students,  as Mr. Otim Michael, Chairperson of the School Management Committee, talks about:

…our school had no access to suitable sanitation facilities. The boys and girls shared 1 old latrine, which resulted in improper waste disposal in the nearby bushes. Our pupils studied in an unhealthy environment contaminated by human waste.

Additionally, poor sanitation infrastructure conditions disproportionately impact menstruating girls that need a hygienic, safe and private place for menstruation management.

The front view of the latrine

With two new latrines, students no longer need to worry about using the bathroom. With these new latrines, school administrators believe that school enrollment and retention will increase:

With these modern sanitary facilities in place, coupled with all of the user-friendly features like a bathroom with an incinerator…and the hand-washing facility…there is no doubt enrolment will increase among girls. This will enable them to further their education by remaining in the school system. Thank you so much for securing the future of our children, especially the girl child.” – Madam Anigo Beatrice, Head Teacher of Ogolai-Kakure Primary School

The new latrines at Ogolai-Kakure Primary School

Thanks to the following supporters, our work continues to improve the lives of those in Uganda:

  • Ocelakur Primary School boys’ latrine – ERM Foundation
  • Ogolai-Kakure Primary School latrines – Health Goes Global

With their support, communities now have access to safe sanitation and improved hygiene and health!

If you’d like to learn more about our work or supporting these sustainable solutions, please contact us.

Discussion (5)

  1. Bruce Rukundo

    Dear Quinlan,

    Thank you for the work done which has immediate and long term impact. I have worked with some communities in Masindi where schools struggle with sanitation among other critical necessities. Is there possibility to support at least one primary school that would also help to attract teachers and improve health conditions of the place?

    Thank you

    Dr. Bruce Rukundo

    • Ashley Quinlan

      Hi Dr. Bruce,

      Thank you for your comment! At this time, our work is focused solely in Kaberamaido and Kalaki Districts.


  2. Max Kiiza

    Well done Surge for water, thanks for bringing smiles to the children in your operational areas. The issue of school latrine is still a challenge in many communities in Uganda even in our current operational area in Mayuge district. The need is soo enormous, schools literally have no latrines.

  3. Shelby Mills

    Hi Ashley
    I’ve offered to built a 2 stanza latrine to help with additional toilet facilities at a small school but the quote has has come in at nearly 11 million ugx

    What is the approximate cost of building 2 stanza for a school?

    They currently have 5 stanzas
    I’ve offered to add 2 new stanza with bricked pit, plastered and using SATO pans for hygiene in a separate space.

    It’s very hard to know how much I should be paying and I’m afraid that I may be taken advantage of.
    I would appreciate any advice
    Kind regards

    • Ashley Quinlan

      Hi Shelby – We build 5-stance, drainable and ventilated latrines for $7,000. This does not include the community contribution of the materials and digging the pit for the latrine. Please feel free to email us if you have any further questions.

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