Conclusion of Ecole Karang I Latrine Project – Senegal
The project was to repair both the large student latrines and the small faculty latrines at the school.
Byron reports on the process:
Materials were purchased with the school director in mid-March and the mason brought his team and began working within 48 hours after all materials had been bought and transported. Because the project was well organized and thoroughly discussed before any work was started, the number of days of waiting between phases (waiting for cement bricks to cure, waiting for cement to dry, etc.) exceeded the number of actual work days. The entire work process may have gone faster had the mason not been managing other side projects as well.
Additional labor and support was eagerly provided by the school staff including the school director, another instructor, and the school guardian. Even myself, the Peace Corps Volunteer, jumped into the septic tank to assist with the digging and manual labor.
Altogether, this project created jobs and utilized skills of over a dozen community members, which adds economic rewards to the already high health benefits of these latrines. The school community was also responsible for and contributed materials, labor, and funds equal to roughly 25% of the entire project cost.
Byron comments on the result:
752 students and teachers utilize these latrines on a daily basis. The completion of the brand new septic tank and simple plumbing ensures that daily needs can be performed safely and in a clean environment. The school no longer has open sewage and human waste materials, which drastically cuts down on serious health issues for the school and its surrounding community members.
During and at the completion of this project, the school board has discussed future plans and activities they wish to carry out. Most immediately, the school director is speaking with local neighbors, the town’s market (located directly in front of the school), and other community leaders in order to inform them of our new latrines in hopes to ensure their durability, long life, and a decrease in vandalism.
Additionally, staff members are working on organizing a weekly cleaning program. Each week a different class of students is responsible for thoroughly cleaning these latrines with soap and bleach that has just been approved in the school’s budget.
Long term goals include raising additional funds to repaint these latrine units in order to further increase their durability and value. The school director and community president have ideas to organize a community wrestling match, funds of which will go towards buying paint, supplies, and labor.
Byron provides quotes from the community:
Badou Mboup – Village Chief: “Karang has had several NGOs come through taking surveys, talking to community members, and making promises. However, most of the results from these visits are uncertain as to the follow through of their promises, slow, or altogether unseen. But the motivation and passion of our local Peace Corps Volunteer has gathered this with the school’s motivation and passion has helped us find the additional resources in order to aid us fulfill our needs. We are entirely grateful because [Appropriate Projects] has helped us complete a need we could not have provided solely ourselves.”
Ousmane Sene – Mayor of Karang: “[Byron Yee] has worked closely with this school as well as the rest of Karang in order to identify and prioritize our developmental needs. He then helped us make contact with an NGO whose work focuses on these exact needs. The work of Appropriate Projects was both quick and successful at Ecole Karang Soce last year and this same NGO proved again fast working and reliable with the Peace Corps Volunteer’s facilitation.”
We extend our thanks to Byron for completing this project, and again wish to thank The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing the funding.