Sanitary Facility Project Commissioned By Naa Ali Huudu

The Presentation Brothers having served in the Hain community for eight (8) years, and after experiencing school infrastructural problems in 2018, the Brothers and the community worked to solicit funding from Misean Cara an Irish Faith Based Organisation to provide a new school facilities – Primary and Junior High School – JHS to improve teaching and learning and moral formation of youth in the area. Education is the bedrock of sustainable development, UNESCO highlights that education: educates the youth, empowers women, promotes peace, fights hunger, is part of the solution to resolving environmental problems and thus, a school is a catalyst for wider community development.

The Presentation Brothers’ education priority is to focus on supporting the marginalised and most vulnerable youth in the periphery of society. The Brothers schools project is, therefore, to address barriers to quality education in the area and bridging the disparity gap.

For the past 4 years, the Presentation Brothers’ JHS at Hain, in the Upper West Region, Wa, has had no toilets on campus. This situation forced both students and teachers to find their own ways to manage without these facilities, creating issues with both sanitation and attendance to the school. The students who are mainly youth between the ages of 13-15 will have to go to the bushes to defecate and staff will have to leave the school to walk a long distance to town to attend to natures call.

These long overdue ‘places of convenience’ to the school is a thing of the past.  The construction of a new ultramodern 14 units water closets – WCs sanitary facility, a changing room and bathroom have ended the open defecation and the unsanitary conditions in the school.

The initial plan was to build a KVIP which stands for ‘Kumasi Ventilated Improved Pit’ and is a pit latrine commonly used in Ghana usually constructed with hand – washing stations that collect rainwater. This type of latrine is designed to control odour and the presence of houseflies. Parent-Teacher was, however, modified into a WC.

The construction of the sanitary facility started in January 2020 and was jointly commissioned on the 10th August 2020 by Naa Ali Huudu, chief of the Hain Traditional area, a farming community near Wa, and Mr. Songliedong Bernard the Circuit Supervisor (CS) Hain, who represented the Municipal Director of Education, Jirapa.

Commissioning the project, Naa Ali Huudu asked School Headmaster Br. James Debuo Der, Parent Teacher Associations – PTA, School Management Committee – SMC, the teachers and students to use the facility well and maintain it for the future use of their brothers and sisters.  He thanked the catholic church and lauded the Presentation Brothers in particular for their interest and investment in the education and formation of the youth in Hain.

The Mr. Songliedong Bernard (CS) who thanked the donors, assured them of good operations and maintenance of the school WASH facilities that will ensure the sustainable and hygienic use of the facilities provided for the school. soap and cleaning materials at the beginning of each term will be made available and asked the Headmaster Br. James to ensure that the appropriate hygiene messages are incorporated and the required messages on WASH are delivered as required at school assembly sessions.

Naa Ali Huudu again commented that the Lynch Foundation and Pres Link was the first to have brought such a modern toilet facility to their community and school and therefore, expressed appreciations and thanks to the donors on behalf of the Land Lord (Teng Daana) the Elders and the community at large.

The sanitary facility was built by the Riodan Construction Ltd a subsidiary body of the Presentation Brothers at the cost of € 27,129.67 an equivalence of GH₵ 165,490.98.

Ms. Siita Hamzatu a JHS 3 student and the school health prefect who stood in front of the female toilet block, said she was grateful and expressed her appreciations particularly to the Lynch Foundation and Pres. Link for the beautiful toilets, changing room with a bathroom in school because many students do not have facilities like this at home “I felt very comfortable in the room all by myself as bathed and changed.” She added.

Attitudes, behaviours and habits will be formed during the first two years as students practice WASH regularly in the school. Basic practices for handwashing and toileting will already be established and, hopefully, with health teachers supporting, students of Presentation Brothers’ JHS Hain will be healthier, ready to contribute and better able to learn. Before they complete JHS 3, WASH becomes part of all students’ experience.

This will improve outcomes for School Sanitation and Hygiene Education (SSHE) in the school before completion. Children as agents of change, it is hoped that all the students at the Presentation Brothers’ JHS School will have the opportunity to make a permanent impact on the future of their town.

Bro. James, Headmaster and Ms. Siita Hamzatu right Health Prefect of the school in front of the sanitary facility.

Hain Chief, Naa Ali Huudu washes his in the sink, Br. Emmanuel Dassah looks on.

After the commissioning of the ultramodern sanitary facility for the school.