Welcome to Equal Rights School
Equal Rights Secondary School is a Catholic school located in Plateau State and was established in 1998. The school roll is currently 175 students comprising 93 girls and 82 boys, of age between 11 and 18 years. The student population is made up of different Christian denominations and Muslims.
The two existing wells
The two major challenges faced by the school are water and sanitation. The school currently has two wells. However, these are not adequate to meet the needs of the school all year round. During the Dry Season there is water rationing by one of the wells being locked to allow it to fill up. The other well is used until it runs dry and is then locked to allow it to recharge and the other is unlocked and used. So there is constant switching between the two wells to ensure the availability of some water.
WATER AND SANITATION PROJECT
EQUAL RIGHTS SECONDARY SCHOOL, AMPANG WEST, MANGU,
PLATEAU STATE, NIGERIA
Existing Sanitation facilities
The school also has three pit latrines shared by students, staff and their families.
The boys have no bathrooms or latrines. They shower in a room of a partially completed building. They walk down to the school to use the latrine or go into the open field to defecate at night. The students are afraid to use the school pit latrines which they deem unsafe preferring to use open fields.
The girls have only one bathroom. They have no latrines in their dormitories so they, like the boys walk down to the main school building to use the latrines or else they use open fields
The money from ‘Good Taste’ enabled the provision of a borehole which will ensure constant plentiful supply of water to the school. Also as part of this project, four latrines were constructed and a Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Education Workshop delivered to teach the children the importance of good basic sanitation and hygiene. The provision of the four latrines will enhance the dignity of the students, especially girls and will encourage more girls to attend the school.
WASH – Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Education Workshop
Doris Samuel (Health and Sanitation Officer) and Tim Danchal (Team Coordinator) were met on arrival at the school by Sister Christie. Doris and Tim were there on a previously arranged visit for the delivery of WASH Education Workshop prior to the start of the construction of one borehole and four latrines funded by ‘Good Taste’ – the Sheffield fair trade shop.
Human behaviour cannot change without an external source triggering the change. In this context the triggering is done by getting the students to realise the effects of open defecation and water borne diseases to their health and environment.
Doris explained to the students the meaning of “open defecation” as an insanitary disposal of faecal matter on land, water and any open space which can easily cause pollution and contamination. She also explored the routes of disease transmission such as fingers, mouth, fluids etc. She explained that there are vectors too such as rodents, mosquitoes, flies etc.
The aim of WASH Education Workshop was to encourage the students to develop good basic sanitation and hygiene practices and to enhance their knowledge and understanding of the risks associated with open defecation.
WASH Education Workshop in progress
Doris also helped the school to set up a Water Sanitation & Hygiene Committee (WASHCOM). The Committee will ensure that the lessons learned during the Workshop are implemented and observed by the current and future school community.
Sister Christie thanked TASTE for its support and project implementation and was thankful for the health education that was given to them. She said that they now have better understanding of the importance and the need for good hygiene practice as a result of the Workshop.
Construction of the Latrines