Children and schools

Reflections on a field visit to GSF projects in Senegal

In the run up to AfricaSan I joined a Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) field trip and learning event in Matam region, Senegal. Along with Global Sanitation Fund programme managers and WSSCC National Coordinators we visited different villages where local NGOs had been triggering communities. Matam, in the north east of Senegal separated from Mauritania by the Senegal River, has a population of over 550,000 of which 98% are Muslim. In the region 47.2% practice open defecation.

Nutrition puzzles: the shit factor

A few years ago I posted a blog titled ‘Nutrition Puzzles’. Today, the puzzles seem a bit nearer to resolution. And the answer may be shit.

The earlier blog was prompted by the huge and massively expensive nutrition survey that was sponsored by a range of international aid donors. It showed to everyone’s surprise that, despite the crisis, nutrition indicators across Zimbabwe, including in rural areas, were not as disastrous as expected. Indeed, they were better than most neighbouring countries, including South Africa.

School-Led Total Sanitation: School Facilitator Training Guide

SLTS Handbook produced by UNICEF Malawi together with the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, the Department of Water Development, the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, the District Councils and District Coordination Teams and the ODF Task Force and its various Governmental and NGO partners.
Date: 7 May 2015
Country: 

Empowerment is key to sustaining clean environment around schools

Empowerment of primary school learners is an area that is needed to be considered seriously if total sanitation is to be realized. I was part of the team that visited Achilet Primary Schools in Uganda’s Tororo District alongside colleagues from Plan International’s Australia, Kenya, and Uganda Offices as well as colleagues from research institutions like Institute for Development Studies (IDS) – UK  and the International Water Center (IRC) Netherlands. The clean environment was witness to the activeness of both learners and teachers at the school.

Raising awareness on open defecation in Indonesia

Indonesia has a massive problem of open defecation. The WHO/UNICEF JMP reports estimates that there are around 55 million people practicing open defecation in the country, or one quarter approximately of the population. This is the second highest country total, after India. Open defecation is mostly by the poorest populations and they bear the heaviest burden. Children – already vulnerable and marginalized - pay the highest price in respect of their survival and development. This well-established traditional behaviour is deeply ingrained through practice from early childhood.

What to do with infant poo? The blind spot of the blind spot

After a few years researching and working on sanitation, I feel (felt) that I have a good knowledge about the topic, or at least good knowledge of most of it and a clear picture of the areas I should learn more about. Moreover as a shit-worker I –and probably most of us in the sector– have developed a sort of pride or even vanity about being a herald of a neglected cause...

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