Chheuteal Primary School Bathroom Project – Cambodia
This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.
Chheuteal Primary School is located in Chheuteal Village, Chheuteal Commune, Sandan District, Kampong Thom Province. As the only primary school for Chheuteal Village and PreyKanline Village, the nine teachers, including the school director, teach 202 students total, 103 being female, ranging in ages from four to fifteen years old.
Chheuteal School currently consists of two 4-classroom buildings, two two-toilet bathroom structures at each end of the school buildings, one hand-pump well, an elevated water tower, and a large cement water storage tank. The bathrooms were constructed in 2005, and a cement water tower was built in the early 2000s.
Staff at Chheuteal Primary School pride themselves with the amount of support they receive from the surrounding community and pagoda, both monetarily and physically – community members often donate time to help repair structures around the school, and provide some money to let the students compete in the provincial football tournament.
A solar-powered pump well, along with a massive emergency shelter project, was constructed in 2017 at the Chheuteal Pagoda, which shares a fence with Chheuteal Primary School and is approximately 95 meters away. The school has received permission from local and international officials to use this electric pump well in order to bring water to the school year-round.
Despite the hard work and successes achieved by Chheuteal Primary School staff and community members, it remains fraught with challenges that affect student wellbeing and success. Teachers identified that many of their students suffer from diarrheal-related illnesses and that current school bathroom facilities and lack of sanitary locations to wash one’s hands are not meeting school needs.
Although two bathroom structures were built in 2005, due to faulty construction and lack of year-round water, the flooring and water basins for two toilets are broken – forcing over 200 students and staff to share the two remaining toilets. The lack of water stems from issues around the cement water storage tank. This tank was constructed by World Vision in the early 2000s, but quickly leaked and became unusable within a year. The bathroom structure that has access to the elevated water tower has experienced no problems and is consistently maintained, despite long-term usage by over 202 students and 9 teachers.
During the dry season, students bring water from the nearby well to fill this bathroom, whereas during the rainy season the tower fills up with rainwater. But because the currently broken bathroom facility is further from the well, it was not well maintained during the dry season, and leaked even during the rainy season – making the facility unusable year-round.
Furthermore, there are currently no separate, sanitary facilities for students to wash their hands with soap after using the toilet. Students often miss school as a result of diarrheal-related illnesses.
Additionally, current school curriculum has students learn about handwashing every year, but teachers have expressed a lack of guidance and exciting activities in these lessons as obstacles to student hygiene education.
This project is to build two enclosed handwashing facilities, and renovate two toilets, which are currently unusable. The community will contribute a water tower and piping to store water for these facilities.
As a result of the construction of an elevated water tower and piping from the Chheuteal Pagoda, the school will have access to year-round water. With this water, the school will be able to supply water to the enclosed handwashing facilities and bathrooms during all seasons.
Water Charity funds will be used for materials and skilled labor. The school will provide assistance with local materials and unskilled labor.
Ultimately, this project strives to provide the skills for teachers to continuously promote hygienic practices, sanitary and sustainable bathrooms and handwashing facilities for students and staff to use year-round, and the opportunity for students at Chheuteal Primary School to achieve an education without the risk of acquiring a diarrheal-related illness.
307 will benefit from the project, including 202 students, 9 staff, and 87 community members.
Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Nicholas Davies – Cambodia
Monitoring and Maintenance
The community plans to sustain this project by involving all teachers with the Training of Trainers workshop in order to learn the skills and activities necessary to teach proper hygienic practices in various ways, even after the PCV leaves the community.
The project will utilize materials found in the village or in the nearby district town. This is to ensure that if, and when, repairs need to be made, materials are easily accessible, and repairs can be done quickly. Along with that, locally sourced and known skilled laborers are being used to ensure the facilities are built with the long-term in mind, and if repairs need to be made, those knowledgeable in the facilities are nearby to assist.
The construction of fencing and roofing for the handwashing facilities will help ensure these facilities are protected from theft and inclement weather that might otherwise inhibit these facilities from functioning long-term.
Also, the project plans to utilize the mid-priced piping to bring water from Chheuteal Pagoda to the school. This decision was made in order to mitigate the risk of the pipes breaking in the near future, but if necessary, the school can afford to replace sections of piping.
Currently, classes take turns cleaning the currently functioning bathrooms, and such rotations will be used with the renovated bathrooms and handwashing stations to ensure these facilities are regularly maintained. A maintenance schedule will be drafted with the school director to solidify responsibilities each week.
Funds raised in excess of the project amount will be allocated to other projects in the country.
Donations Collected to Date
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