Ecole 1 Ronkh Sanitation Project – Senegal

Town of Ronkh, Communaute Rurale of Ronkh, Department of Dagana, Region of Saint Louis, Senegal

Community Description
The town of Ronkh is situated in the northwest corner of Senegal, on the border of Mauritania. Ronkh is 25 kilometers off the Route Nationale and 100 kilometers from the regional capital, Saint Louis. It is the administrative capital of its district and is home to 5,000 inhabitants, a poste de sante, two elementary schools, and a middle school. Its proximity to the Senegal River allows for year-round irrigation, and rice farming is the primary income and food source of the inhabitants.

The older and larger of the two primary schools, Ecole 1, not only services 336 students in 12 classes but also supports the town’s Case de Tous Petits, or preschool, which currently has 58 students in 3 classes. Several years ago, the school brought in an outside contractor to extend the town’s main water pipeline out to the school and to construct a handwashing station. However, the work was poorly done, resulting in severe leakages and blockages, and the school consequently turned off its tap. This has proved insufficient to stop all leaks, and a pool of sewage water now sits on school grounds.

In addition to the health problems posed by an open sewage pit in a public area for children, the lack of easy access to water makes cleaning the school’s latrines particularly difficult, further exacerbating the potential for health problems from unsanitary conditions.

Six of the school’s teachers are not from the town and are housed on school grounds. As a teacher’s placement may last only a few years, the town has provided their housing and is responsible for ensuring adequate living conditions. Their restroom was built by the same technician and also requires rehabilitation.

The toilet’s drainage pipe was positioned too high and does not drain properly, resulting in blockages. The shower drainage pipe is too small and easily clogged; as such, the shower is currently not usable, and teachers must bathe while standing over the toilet.

Finally, the current floor, made of dirt, is frequently damp and ridden with puddles of water, creating a highly unpleasant situation for these long-term guests of the town who, at the government’s request, live apart from their families and sacrifice the comforts of a more urban area in order to teach primary school children.

Project Description
This project is to rehabilitate the existing sanitation structure at the school to get it into working, hygienic condition.

The project involves several steps. First, a team of local boys will clear out the existing pools of sewage water and will dig new holes for septic tanks, which will be constructed of cement by the town mason. The town plumber will then replace all damaged hardware on the water pipeline and handwashing station: the connecting tubes, the faucets themselves, and the drain, which is damaged beyond repair. He will also add a step up into the existing handwashing station so as to prevent sand from being blown in and clogging the drain.

The unsuitable drainage pipes in the teacher’s living quarters will be replaced by more appropriate ones and the shower area cleared out. The town plumber will also extend the nearest water pipeline approximately 20 meters so as to reach the restroom and will install a shower head, thereby allowing the teachers to take showers, rather than bathe with a bucket of water.

Finally, the town mason will cover the floor of the bathroom with broken tiles to cut down on dampness in the restroom and prevent puddles of muddy water from covering the floor.

Appropriate Projects funds will purchase the equipment required for all steps of the project. The town is contributing the sand, cement, and gravel required to construct and cover new septic tanks and is covering the cost of the mason’s labor. The costs of labor to dig new septic tanks and that of the plumber will be split between the community and Appropriate Projects funds.

Project Impact
410 people will benefit from the project.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Sarah Kopper

This is a critical infrastructure project that will improve the lives of students, teachers, and staff at the school. It incorporates a large amount of community support, and will provide tremendous benefit in the health and well-being of everyone at the school.

Sarah previously completed the Ronkh Water Project – Senegal and the Ecole 2 Ronkh Water and Handwashing Station Project – Senegal.

Dollar Amount of Project

Donations Collected to Date

Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 – This project has been fully funded through the generosity of Anonymous, of Bozeman, MT, USA.

We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify Peace Corps Volunteer Sarah Kopper of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by Sarah and/or those of other PCVs in the country of service.

This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.