In Uganda, many schools in impoverished communities lack sanitary facilities like toilets or pit latrines. This puts the health of learners and teachers at stake due to poor hygiene. It is even worse for schools in ghetto areas that lack enough land and space to construct and expand these facilities.
Sometimes, it has taken the intervention of philanthropic organizations through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs for such communities to have better sanitary facilities. The latest beneficiary of this giving spirit is Good Samaritan High School in Nsooba, a ghetto community sitting between Kamwokya and Kyebando.
In June last year, The Ruparelia Foundation and partners announced it would spend proceeds from The Royal Ascot Goat Races to undertake an Eco Brick Toilet CSR project to build toilets aimed at improving sanitation at the Good Samaritan Primary School. True to their word, construction of the toilets commenced in December.
And now, The Ruparelia Foundation has said the Eco Brick Toilet Project construction works have been completed and the toilet facility will this week be handed over to the beneficiary on Friday 2nd October. The project was conducted in partnership with Ghetto Research Lab in Kamwokya.
Sheena Ruparelia, Trustee Ruparelia Foundation, confirmed that the project has been completed successfully and ready for the unveiling and eventual handover to Good Samaritan High School. Noah Kisira, the headteacher of the school described the completed project work as magnificent.
The eco-friendly project has consumed 13.2 ton of recycled material including polytherene commonly known as kaveera. The 10 toilets that will be handed over on Friday have been built using cement, timber, concert stones and hard-core stones, eco bottle bricks (bottles stuffed with polytherene), sand, iron bars, nails, iron sheets and water.
The project has had a multiplier impact on the ghetto communities in Nsooba, Kamwokya and Kyebando. It has been revealed that 50 community members were taught the skill of making these eco-friendly bricks, 100 community members earned from building the structure and 500 students will now return to the school which had been closed due to lack of sanitary facilities.
Naiya Ruparelia, Trustee Ruparelia Foundation, said The Ruparelia Foundation is excited to be the partner on the ground making sure that the funds donated to this project are put directly to the right use. Patrick Mujuzi, Founder Ghetto Research Lab Uganda, said the project is going to be a solution to the environmental challenges in the ghetto and the diseases that arise due to poor hygiene.
The objectives of the project are to empower the youth with hands-on skills through research on composted manure, technology, urban/smart farming vocational training and employment opportunities and to preserve, protect and propagate the significance of sustainable development of maintaining ecological balance through tree planting and urban farming.
Other objectives are to improve sanitation within the slum areas through waste recycling and achieve the green agenda through environmental conservation by recycling the plastics and polytherene into eco-bricks, plastic pavers, flower pots, plastic rooftops etc.