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Providing improved sanitation facilities for school children in the Highlands of Ethiopia

Mar 2015
Ethiopia

The villagers of Kosoru in the highlands of Ethiopia had to climb steep paths to collect water from mountain springs. This changed following the completion of a water supply scheme constructed by Tearfund and their local partner the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church (EKHC) and in part financed by Borouge under the “Water for the World” initiative.

During the execution of this project, a request was received from the village elders and the Headmaster to improve the toilet facilities for the local school. The existing facilities for the school’s 903 pupils and 16 members of staff were far from satisfactory, comprising of a simple corrugated iron shed built over a large pit and split into 8 compartments. There was no separation for the boys and girls and no hand washing facilities were provided.

Therefore the same partners built a cement block pit latrine consisting of 8 rooms with privacy for boys, girls and disabled people. Water is provided from a 1,000 litre water storage tank which was installed on a metal stand close to the facility. This tank was connected to the original gravity fed network through a 325m long pipeline produced from High Stress Crack Resistant (HSCR) BorSafe™ HE3490-LS-H PE100 compound.

Ethiopia in East Africa is one of the poorest countries in the world with nearly 40% of the population living below the international poverty line. Following on from an earlier water supply project, UK based NGO, Tearfund and their local partner the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church (EKHC) recently undertook a project to provide improved sanitation facilities for the pupils and staff at the Kosoru Elementary School. This project was funded under the Borouge and Borealis “Water for the World” programme.

Kosoru and the local Elementary School

The villagers of Kosoru live at 2,300 metres above sea level in the highlands of Ethiopia and rely mainly on their animals and on small scale agriculture for their livelihood. Until recently they had to climb steep paths to collect water from mountain springs, but this changed following the completion of a water supply scheme constructed by Tearfund and their local partner the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church (EKHC) which was partially financed by Borouge under the “Water for the World” initiative.

The water for the scheme comes from two mountain springs which feed 12 tap stands, 5 washing stands and 5 cattle troughs distributed throughout the extended village area. From two large storage tanks above the village, underground pipes carry the water to the different locations around the village making it much easier for the local population to access their daily requirements. During the execution of this project, a request was received from the village elders and the Headmaster of the local school to build improved toilet and hand washing facilities for the students and staff.

The local elementary school serves Kosoru and several surrounding villages and has 903 pupils (grades 1 to 8) and 16 members of staff. The school’s existing toilet arrangements were far from satisfactory comprising of a separate simple corrugated iron shed, split into 8 compartments, built over a large pit. There was no separation for the boys and girls and no hand washing facilities were provided.

The design of the new school toilet facilities

The plan was to build a cement block pit latrine consisting of 8 rooms with privacy for boys, girls and disabled people. Water would be provided from a 1,000 litre water storage tank which would be installed on a metal stand close to the facility. The tank would be connected to the original gravity fed network through a 325m long pipeline produced from High Stress Crack Resistant (HSCR) BorSafe™ HE3490-LS-H PE100 compound. This high quality material would minimise the risk of any failure due to point loads from the rocky soil of the area.

Already having a major impact on the children’s lives

The completed facilities enable the students to go to the toilet in comfort and privacy and wash their hands afterwards. The facility is already encouraging more young girls to attend school regularly and the good news has spread to others who wish to attend school for the next academic year, especially many more young girls.

As Headmaster Daniel Ayalew said:

Regarding hygiene and sanitation practices in the previous time in our school, we were using only one pit latrine for the whole school, which was unclean and there was no water in the compound. Especially it was harder for girls. Very often, students suffered from sickness and missed class. Now with the assistance of the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church Development programme, we have a safe water supply and clean toilet facilities in the school compound. Thank you for providing all these facilities and our problem is solved.

Daniel Ayalew — Headmaster

Sixteen year old, grade 8 student, Medina Mohamed commented:

We will keep the facilities as clean as possible. We understand that our health and dignity depends on a clean environment through sustainable water and sanitation facilities. We will teach our younger school children how to use the facilities properly.

Medina Mohamed — Grade 8 student