This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Arju Nishimura.
To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.
The project in Xol Merina was to install running water in the elementary school restrooms and to construct a facility for the teachers.
The project was initiated by the former school director (now working in Matam), who helped to create a committee of interested community members to help support and consult on the project. Working with the parent-teacher association, the elementary school staff, and important community members, we met to determine the scope of the project, detail necessary materials, determine a mason and a plumber, develop a budget, and identify the community contribution. This whole process went extremely smoothly and there was a great cooperation among all parties.
Once the project was funded, I traveled with two school staff members and the school treasurer to the regional capital in order to purchase the necessary materials for the construction and installation of plumbing. Despite the fact that there was an ongoing teacher strike, all of the school staff members were very involved and dedicated to the project.
Once the materials were purchased, the mason and plumber began their work and were able to finish very quickly. They installed piping and faucets, connected the faucets to the existing water main, and built a new restroom (also connected to running water) behind the staff office. The whole construction process took under one week from start to finish, as everyone involved was motivated and organized.
The Xol elementary school now has 8 restroom stalls with access to running water, for ease of flushing, cleaning, and hand washing. This access to water allows the restrooms to be kept in proper condition, and for the students to practice proper hygiene and sanitation practices. The new staff restroom allows the teachers to devote their break time to class preparation.
The teachers have purchased kettles, mops, and soap, and have established a rotating cleaning schedule. The ongoing costs of water and soap will be funded by the school and by the parent-teacher association as needed.
Everyone at the school and in the community is thrilled with this project, and extends a great thank you to Water Charity for their invaluable support.
We, in turn, extend our gratitude to Arju for completing this important project.