Conclusion of Mbazwana Primary School Sanitation Project – South Africa
FINAL PROJECT REPORT
MPS Sanitation/ Hygiene Project Background
This project involved the refurbishing of 4 toilet buildings and developing and employing a hygiene /sanitation education component for teachers and students in a primary school serving 1,200 students. These buildings had not been cleaned or sanitized for years. The students who entered the school at the primary level had not been trained to use flushing toilets. So they would be sent to the toilet buildings but instead of using the flushing toilets that were too high for the fresh learners, these students would simply squat and do everything on the floor and teachers would not go in and correct them. The learners carried these habits as they progressed to higher grades. Teachers had not been inside these buildings for years. The principal was taken totally by surprise when I showed him a video of the condition of these facilities.
Goals Achieved, Changes in Initial Objectives
All the goals and objectives of this project were achieved. What changed concerned the timeline. The project was not actually completed until the end of August 2014 due to complications with contractors who did not stay committed to the project or ignored our expected schedule and worked at their own convenience.
The community has been extremely supportive of this project including the mayor, officials from the provincial government, and other community leaders.
Capacity and Skills Built
The principal is responsible for the capacity of the school’s growth and development. When we initiated the project, he recognized the need was urgent to promote a sanitation and hygiene project. His commitment was so strong that he assigned a line item in his budget for additional supplies for cleaning. Instructions to add hygiene into the curriculum was given to the educators. In this regard, the school has the capacity to maintain the project. I would say the educating about sanitation and hygiene habits were skills that all the teachers gained from workshops that were facilitated by health officials from the local clinic and provincial department of health. Learners, particularly boys, participated in the construction phase and were taught how to pour concrete and how to properly paint the interior of a building. And more than anything, the community of this school witnessed the changing of an impossible situation. This motivated the principal to lay concrete in an area that was deep sand but also the area where learners did their morning prayers. In other words, the school admin took on other important impossible issues and resolved them motivated by the toilet project.
Responses from School Community
School Principal: “We cannot express our happiness for these contributions to our school. We thank you!”
School Vice Principal and Choir Director: “This keyboard will be our treasure. I cannot tell you how much you have made us very happy. We will win any competitions with this.”
This project has been completed and has been fully funded through the generosity of Alan Pollard.