Among the 20 schools we’ve brought electricity to schools in Burkina Faso, West Africa, some didn’t have toilets. In addition to solar lighting, five schools have now be equipped with modern toilets to address hygiene and sanitation issues and reduce the risk of disease. Thanks to simple additions like this, living and learning conditions are improved for all!
Until now, the schools of Kirabouto, Thiaossan, Pien, Tambao and Panassin in the commune of Cassou, Burkina Faso, did not have toilets. This lack of infrastructure had serious consequences on the lives of students and the community. Having access to toilets at school is much more than a comfort, it is a necessity to avoid water pollution, fight against diseases and fight against dropping out of school, especially for girls.
Gender and inclusion issues
Under our project “Enlightened School, Resource Center for Quality Education”, co-funded by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the provisional acceptance of new toilets took place on February 26, in the presence of the secretary-general of the town hall of Cassou, school directors and heads of parents’ associations.
The proposed toilets take into account gender and inclusion issues since they are separated into four compartments: girls, boys, teachers and people with disabilities. For all students and teachers in these schools, these new constructions are a real relief.
“The project, through the construction of toilets, provides a salutary solution. The school grounds will no longer be an open-air toilet,” explained Thomas Bamouni, director of Pien school. Before the construction of the latrines, only trees or grass could give privacy to the students who wanted to relieve themselves. For the girls, especially those in fifth grade, it was a nightmare. Some were returned home when needed which led to being late for class or to miss it entirely.
Without toilets and without provisions for washing hands, the students were exposed to many infections. Today, however, the toilets are accompanied by a handwashing device. Their use and maintenance also contribute to health education; an extra added value of the project.
In Southeast Asia too, we are supporting schools to build improved water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities including toilets, sinks, and access to safe and clean water. In Vietnam and Laos, this work has been supported by Taiwan Fund for Children and Families. Thanks to our supporters, we are building better school environments to promote good health and to keep children in school for longer.