The student Council and Penny Harvest Committee from the for Excellence collected funds for a Penny Harvest campaign and raised $500 for Drop in the Bucket. The students fervently collected loose change from classrooms and then developed a round table forum to discuss where they would donate the money they raised. After several meetings and a lot of research they selected Drop in the Bucket. We would like to extend a huge thank you to all of the students and teachers involved for their hard work and dedication.
Storm heard about the water crisis from members of his family that were planning fundraising ideas and decided that he wanted to help too, so he started Storm’s Drop in the Bucket Lemonade Stand! $1/Cup $1/water. Storm said “I am raising money for kids to have water in Africa so they don’t get sick anymore.” He’s already raised $185 and is planning on raising $2000. Thanks Storm you are amazing!
For his Birthday, Seven year old Max wanted to do something to help children in Africa. He also wanted to make sure he and all his friends had fun, so they found a laser tag facility and booked the party there. Max wanted his friends to come and have fun, eat cake play games and instead of gifts make a donation.
Publication date: Tuesday, 4th January, 2011
By Chris Ocowun
WITH a polythene bag slung across the shoulders, her eyes pry around the school compound like a stranger. Before entering the classroom, she walks to the far end where the school toilets are located. Later, she emerges with a grin and dashes to class.
What is the motivation?
Winnie Akol, the 12-year-old girl, is back to school after getting the news that her former school has a modern flushing toilet synonymous with modern urban establishments.
She had dropped out of school the year before because she could not have any privacy, especially during her menstrual cycle. Akol represents a wave of excitement at Pece Pawel Primary School in Pece division, Gulu town. Since March last year when the school started using the flush toilets, many pupils, especially girls returned.
“About 10 girls who had dropped out because of poor sanitation and lack of washrooms re-joined P.4, P.5 and P.6 classes at the start of last term,” the deputy head teacher of the school, Grace Evelyn, Akeni reveals.
From using unhygienic pit latrines with floors flooded with filth, pupils and teachers now use flushing toilets, courtesy of Drop in the Bucket, a US-based NGO. Prior to the construction of the three-step water sanitation system, the school was using 16 old dilapidated pit latrines.
Flush toilets are a better option
Unlike schools that still use dirty pit latrines with unbearable hygiene conditions, Pece Pawel Primary School does not experience any stench from the flush toilets since pupils started using them eight months ago. Sanitation experts and engineers say these flush toilets can serve the school for about 20 years.
“This eco-sanitation system is good for schools in urban areas with limited land for expansion. There is no air pollution,” Pece division health inspector Betty Atim remarks.
How it is built
The director of Drop in the Bucket, Stacey Travis, explains the processes involved in building the eco-sanitation flush toilet system.
First, we installed a water well with a modified hand pump that sends some of the well water into a designated container to be used for general water needs, while the rest of the water goes into a separate reservoir tank of about 1,500 litres.
Next, we attached to this tank another pump, but this one is operated by a piece of playground equipment called a roundabout. Each time the children play on the roundabout, water is pumped from the reservoir tank to a hand-washing station and two sets of flushing toilets.
In the final step, we connected the toilets to a delayed septic system with seven different compartments through which the waste from the toilets flows.
Advantage of the system
Travis says a delayed septic system is designed to break down sewage into, 100% pathogen-free, and 85% pure water in 28 days. This prevents the problem of toxicity from accumulated sewage, and the risk of groundwater contamination during the rainy season.
“This pathogen-free water from the toilets can be used for irrigation by the communities around,” Travis notes.
She adds that the eco-sanitation system is simple and environmental friendly as opposed to pit latrines.
“Unlike the pit latrines which are smelly and dirty, these flush toilets are always clean. The pupils clean the toilets daily and each child brings two rolls of toilet paper every term,” Akeni says.
Pupils, parents excited
Walter Ochora, 11, a P.4 pupil, says using the flush toilets is more enjoyable than the pit-latrines. “The flush toilets do not have maggots and a bad smell like the pit latrines,” Ochora says.
He says Drop in the Bucket should expand the eco-sanitation system to other schools in the region to save the children from the risk of contracting diseases like cholera and dysentery.
Vincent Opio, a parent, acknowledges the usefulness of the eco-sanitation system of flush toilets because the toilets ensure good health of their children.
The health inspectors from Pece division now want the authority of Pece Pawel Primary School to demolish the dilapidated filled up pit latrines which have been abandoned.
Other schools where Drop in the Bucket has built eco-sanitation flush toilets include Onywako Primary School in Barr sub-county in Lira district, Alela Modern Primary School in Alebtong district and St. Ponsiano Primary School in Mwanda, central Uganda.
Drop in the Bucket is also carrying out similar charity work in schools in Southern Sudan, according to Travis.
Cost of the project
According to Travis, drilling a borehole and building 10 stances of flush toilets in the school cost about sh30m. She says the project was cheaper because the community also contributed bricks and other building materials.
￼She adds that in places where there is no community contribution, it can cost between sh40 and sh45m to build such a system and borehole.
According to Travis, one of the challenges Drop in the Bucket faces in establishing ecosan flush toilets is getting support from the community.
“We tried so hard to fight those negative attitudes by involving them in the project through provision of building materials like sand, bricks and stone aggregates for the sustainability of the project,” Travis says.
She says they also try to unite the communities around the selected schools by organising them in a water users’ committee for proper maintenance of the boreholes.
￼This article can be found on-line at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/9/35/742793
For Miriam’s 8th birthday she decided that instead of gifts she would ask her friends to help children in Africa, so she sent out an invitation with this written on it; Please don’t bring a gift for me – We will make a cool group present while you are here. For my birthday, I would like to make a donation to a charity. I would like to help dig a well for a school in Africa. If each of you brings $5 instead of a present I will send the money to help children who don’t have clean water.
The name of the woman pictured here is Gune Sylvia Mikaya. She is the Headmistress of the Lire Secondary School in South Sudan.
She graciously allowed us to interview her after the well was installed at the school.
Question: What is your educational background?
Answer: Because of the civil war in Sudan, I had my education in Uganda right from the lower level to the University of Makerere where I graduated with a degree in Education.
Question: When and how did you join Lire Secondary School?
Answer: (she smiles) I joined Lire Secondary as the Headmistress in 2007 after the person who was the Headmaster before failed to satisfy the expectations of the Board of Governors.
Question: How has the water situation been in this school?
Answer: The situation has been worse, especially when students have to move two kilometers to the nearest borehole . This has not only been hectic, but time consuming as well. It has also been making it very hard to control the discipline of the students. What makes it worse is when students fight with the community for water because of who should take water first.
Question: Would you like to pass a message to the donor?
Answer: (she pauses for a minute) I actually have run out of words, I don’t know where to begin and where to stop. I appreciate the donor for providing us with very clean and abundant water, which I know will save our lives, save us time and improve community-school relationships.
Question: Are there any challenges you have had to face?
Answer: Of course!! As a woman controlling the behavior of men on the staff, it is hard given the cultural background of women being under men. But I keep myself focused and ready to meet any challenge.
Amoko Anthony Alibe is the headmaster from the Stars of Hope Primary School in Malakia near Nimule in the Equatoria District of South Sudan.
Anthony was born in 1978 in a village,not far from the school where he now teaches, called Matara. Unfortunately, In 1989 the LRA attacked Anthony’s village and he had to leave Sudan for a refugee camp in Uganda.
Although life in the refugee camp was tough for Anthony. The educational he was able to receive in Uganda was considerably better than the one he would have received in Sudan, so Anthony was able to stay in Uganda and get his secondary education in Ajumani. After graduating he went for his teacher training at the Arua Primary Teachers College in Arua, Uganda. Two years later he returned to Ajumani and taught for another two years. Anthony loved teaching and the students loved his enthusiasm for the work. At the Uganda Martyrs University he received his Masters degree and after three years later he returned to Sudan.
In 2008 Anthony became the headmaster and English teacher at the Stars of Hope Primary School in Magwi county. There he was in charge of over 704 primary students and 241 nursery students.
“I had the skills to be a teacher, but never realized that you become a role model to the students, in every way imaginable,” Anthony reflected.
Before the well was drilled the school had to walk 1 km every day for water, which doesn’t seem as far as many schools in South Sudan, but when you take into account just how much water a school of nearly 1,000 students needs on a daily basis you start to look at it with different eyes. Every day the school’s cooks and other workers would walk with 15 jerry cans 3 times a day! Sometimes the had to pull students away from their studies to help with fetching water.
Stars of Hope is unusual for South Sudan in that it provides the children with food every day. For some of these kids this may be the only food they will eat all day, but the school needed water to be able to prepare the children’s lunch.
The nearest well was in the middle of town and being used by a lot of people , so there were always long lines for the water. “Sometimes,” Anthony explains, “the borehole in town will be so congested that the children will simply go without food for a day.”
Everyone at Stars of Hope is very happy about the new well. “We thank Drop in the Bucket and their donors for what they’ve done here for this school,” Anthony proclaims. “We shall never forget this moment in the history of Stars of Hope.”
This project was a collaboration between Drop in the Bucket and our friends at Water Harvest. Thanks to Steven and everyone at WHI for their hard work and dedication to the project. Also thanks to Godfrey Lilia for the photo and story.
A little bit of change can go a long way… Never take for granted the power of change. Eight year old Brayden of Colorado collected and donated all of his change to Drop in the Bucket. “I want to help Africa. I hope this money helps.” Thank you Brayden! Your generous contribution helped to provide clean, accessible water to children in Uganda.
Among other methods, the young students of the LaFrancis Hardiman School in Wyandach, New York raised money over three months byrecycling cans and bottles. Thanks to the kindergarten, first and second graders of this school, children thousands of miles away enjoy the right to clean drinking water everyday. Congratulations on your accomplishments LaFrancis Hardiman School, and thank you for helping Drop in the Bucket provide another community with safe, disease-free water.