Proper School Toilets lead to Improved Education

 In Donor, Field Partner, Sanitation, Uganda

According to UNICEF, 66 percent of schools globally do not have access to sanitation facilities that are single-sex and usable.* This equates to 600 million children who go to school but don’t have a toilet to use. When children go to school but don’t have access to safe toilets, the effects are detrimental. Some students begin practicing open defecation in the school yard while others decide to skip school entirely. By working with schools to build latrines, we are providing safe spaces for students to use a toilet, resulting in improved health and increased enrollment at schools.

Since early August, in addition to bringing safe water to 17 communities in Uganda, we have also built three latrines at two primary schools. These latrines have brought safe sanitation to 1,655 students!

Alomet Primary School Boys’ Latrine

Prior to Surge’s intervention, the boys’ latrine at Alomet Primary School had collapsed due to heavy rains. With no other option, the boys were sharing a 2-stance latrine with the staff. The lack of latrines led to increased rates of open defecation and absenteeism.

The collapsed latrine

After construction, 423 boys now have a brand new latrine. Atim Melda, the Head Teacher, shared:

It was unimaginable to run a school without sanitary facilities for the learners, and that is why this miracle intervention has brought great relief to me and this school’s administration. The boys had resorted to dodging school…but that will now definitely come to an end since they have a modern 5-stance latrine.

Alomet Primary School boys’ latrines, after construction

We focus on a holistic approach in all of the communities we work in. In addition to a new boys’ latine, we have worked with Alomet Primary School to construct a girls’ latrine in 2019 and to rehabilitate their well. The school has also received seven water filters, a Menstrual Health Training, and a Hygiene Training. By focusing on all of these solutions together, we can ensure that our solutions cater to the holistic needs of the school.

Bululu Primary School Girls and Boys’ Latrines

Bululu Primary School was constructed with one latrine structure each for the boys and girls in 2009. However, with an increase in school enrollment, the latrines filled up and were nearly unusable. Ejibu Francis, Head Teacher, shared his concerns:

The old boys’ latrine was nearly full to the brim and worrying to see our learners use it. But we had no other choice.

The latrines at Bululu Primary School

With two new latrines, school administration no longer needs to worry about the students having suitable latrines. Additionally, the girls now have a safe, hygienic, and private environment to manage their menstruation.

An inside view of the new latrines at Bululu Primary School

Thanks to BOKA and AquaPhoenix, our work continues to improve the lives of those in Uganda. 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.

*https://www.unicef.org/stories/11-lessons-water-school
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