JWF Fund

2020.05.20

JWF Fund

JWF Fund 2018 Follow-up : Good Sanitation Facility is Life (Construction of 2 Pit Latrines and Good hygiene practice education in 2 Schools) (Sierra Leone)

Outline of the Follow-up observations
Our priority is placed on responding to the issues and needs of the field in an efficient and effective way.
Since 2015, we have been carrying out follow-up observations one year after the completion of projects in order to understand changing issues and needs.

In FY 2019, the fifth year since we started our follow-up observations, we asked five grass-roots organizations in the Lao PDR, Malawi, Sierra Leone, and Uganda (2 projects) that had been granted the JWF Fund 2018 to conduct follow-up observations. We received consent from the organizations in all the locations except the Lao PDR. With this cooperation, we have been able to conduct our one-year follow-up observations.

This page describes the project Good Sanitation Facility is Life (Construction of 2 Pit Latrines and Good hygiene practice education in 2 Schools) in Sierra Leone.

Good Sanitation Facility is Life (Construction of 2 Pit Latrines and Good hygiene practice education in 2 Schools)

Outlines of the project supported by the JWF Fund 2018
・Organization: Economic Empowerment and Human Rights Sierra Leone (EEHRSL) (#130)
・Country/Area: Bombari, Kerene district, Sierra Leone
・Project period: October 2018 to March 2019
・Number of beneficiaries: 582 (568 children and students, 14 teachers)
・Cost: $2,154 ($1,000: JWF funds, $300: beneficiaries, and $854: EEHRSL)

Background:
Lack of sanitation facility and hygiene education are big problems in schools of rural communities in Sierra Leone. There are no latrines in 2 targeting primary schools and these primary schools have the population of 568 pupils. The pupils defecated behind their school, whereby domestic animals such as dogs, ducks and fowls feed on this defecation. Girls are unwilling to defecate in open places, therefore they do not want to go to school. It makes many girls dropped out of school.
According to the EEHRSL Resent research conducted and District Health Management Team’s estimations, about 1/7 of the population in Sierra Leone still openly defecates in the absence of any toilet/latrine, of which 75% lives in deprived rural communities. Fecal pollution is a real issue since polluted drinking water causes water borne diseases such as viral gastroenteritis, viral hepatitis, typhoid, cholera epidemics, diarrhea and so on. As a result, primary school pupils and people in the communities are exposed to those water-borne diseases.

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People defecated outdoors on the school premises

Main activities:
・Construction of two VIP toilets* and the installation of two handwashing facilities
・Training sessions on good hygiene practices
・Health campaigns
・Meetings on maintenance and management of construction facilities

* VIP (Ventilated Improved Pit) toilet is a sanitary facility equipped with ventilation pipes to prevent odors and flies from occurring.

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Construction of VIP toilets

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Completed VIP toilets and students Students washing their hands

Follow-up observation in 2020
Results of the survey conducted Mr. Michael Luseni of the EEHRSL are as follows:

    • Current situations of the VIP Latrines and hand washing facilities
      - Two VIP Latrines and hand washing facilities are functioning. Education and awareness training sessions conducted in 2018 in school help students use the facilities properly.
      - There has not been any major damage to the building or the hand washing facilities. The only damage found was to the two padlocks on the doors, but they have been fixed.

    • Operation and maintenance system
      -  The School Authorities and the School Management Committee (SMC) agreed to perform various responsibilities to ensure that the VIP Latrines and hand washing facilities are maintained and function well.
      The School Authorities agreed that:
      ・The School commits to make a small quarterly financial contribution from the government subsides in order to ensure that the VIP Latrines and hand washing facilities function well.
      ・The teachers commit to contributing financially every month and to monitoring the use of the VIP Latrines and hand washing facilities in order to ensure that they function well.
      ・The teachers commit to contribute $2.00 (SLL20.000) monthly to maintain the VIP latrines and the hand wash facilities. While the school contributes on a quarterly biases of $25.00 (SLL250.000) from its government subsidies to maintain the latrines. All major maintenance and repairs are the responsibility of the SMC.
      School Management Committee (SMC) agreed that:
      ・The SMC commits itself to carrying out any major or minor repairs to the VIP Latrines and the hand wash facilities, so as to ensure that the VIP Latrines and hand washing facilities continue to function well.
      ・The SMC will to do on-the-spot monitoring every three weeks and give feedback to the school’ head teacher and the SMC chairperson on possible action if needed.
      - The school authorities and the SMC take care of the facilities.
      There is a system put in place by school authorities whereby the latrines are cleaned by the students. They maintain a roster of students to clean on a daily basis, supervised by a teacher. This is encouraging because the schools have no provision to hire the services of a cleaner.

  • Changes among the beneficiaries
    - The following changes have been found:
    ・Abandonment of open defecation
    ・Good hygiene practices in school and at home
    ・Adaptation of hand washing with soap after using the latrine and after dirty work
    ・Improved environmental hygiene practices at both schools
    ・Increased hygiene education and awareness that reduce diarrhea related illnesses and lower the infant mortality rate
    ・Better hygiene behavior that helps save lives
    - Water-borne diseases have been reduced through ending defecation in the bush and behind their schools and through good hygiene education.
    - Practices sessions have greatly helped community people reduce water-borne diseases in their communities.
    - Community people have started digging local pit latrines, though with unhygienic fence of palm thatch.

 

Voices from the beneficiaries

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Mr. Alusine Bangura, 45 years old, principal of the school in Boronka village

  • After the handing over the completed facilities to the school, our hygiene system has changed for the better, for both the teachers and the students. Our teachers now spend more time in the school compound. Teachers’ time management for their lessons is more effective, which has added more value and dignity to their profession. The teachers don’t need to go after students in the bush to come to class or to struggle to find students to attend classes. Our students do not need to go to the bush anymore and can now stay in the school compound. Girls can now use the newly-constructed latrines when they have their menstrual periods. More girls are now attending school because they don’t need to defecate in the bush or behind the school.
  • Students and teachers are using the hand washing facilities, washing their hands with soap and water as we used to do during the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. As principal of the school, I appreciate the funding and the project.
  • Before the project, students were experiencing cholera, diarrhea, and other diseases. Sickness reduced the number of students coming to school. However the school has not experienced any outbreaks of vomiting or illness since the construction of the VIP latrines. Students and Teachers are now healthy as a result of the improved hygiene facilities. Health has changed for the positive. There are no snake bites, scorpion stings, or other such accidents.
  • The school recorded higher attendance this year because of their improved sanitation. Parents now have the confidence to send their children to school, because there are separate latrines for teachers, boys and girls. This assures their safety and security.
  • The users are very happy with the facilities because their VIP latrine is the first to be constructed in the chiefdom and is the same as ones used in the city. They are proud of it. When students from other schools or visitors come, they always admire the VIP latrine and ask who provided the funding and construction. Our dignity has been restored. Other schools envy us now.

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Ms. Kadiatu S. Kamara, 12 years old, a pupil

  • I feel proud and safe when using the VIP latrines and the hand washing facilities developed by EEHRSL. In fact, I’m not the only happy one. The entire school, our community, and our parents are all happy about it, although other schools envy us and want the same facilities.
  • I’m on the school roster for cleaning the latrine every Wednesday. When I misbehave in class or get into trouble with my classmates, I have to clean the area around the latrine. However, I’m always happy to clean the latrine because it’s for us. It’s owned by us and we need to take good care of it.
  • During the project, EEHRSL provided us with information at a school general assembly on how to use and take care of the latrine and the importance of hygiene for our health. Now I always wash my hands with soap after using the latrine. It has totally transformed my hygiene practices. I now clean around my house without waiting to be told, this is because of the training session I received from EEHRSL on good hygiene practices.
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Mr. Foday S. Kamara, 15 years old, a pupil

  • I always use the VIP Latrine developed by EEHRSL. I had never used this type of latrine before. My parents told me that it’s like the ones used in the city. The first day I used it I, didn’t want to come out. It’s so comfortable, safe and good for everyone. I feel good when I use it.
  • I have cleaned the latrine several times, because my name is on the school roster for every Sunday. I love to be part of the cleaning team because it’s for our own good and protection.
  • My hygiene practices have changed for the better. At home, I always wash my hands with soap after using the toilet. My parents asked me why I always use soap and water to wash my hands. I explained it to them, but they didn’t believe me and came to the school to ask my teacher.

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VIP Latrine constructed in 2018
at the school in the Boronka Village
VIP Latrine constructed in 2018
at the school in the Rogbonkoh Village

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Hand washing Facility in the school of the Boronka Village Students in the school of
the Boronka Village

(Reported by Shigenori Asai, Director)

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