Good hygiene, keeping our children safe, through improved sanitation at JMLC.
A young boy wearing a green T-shirt with a Jolly Mercy Learning Centre label on his front emerges from a corridor. He goes on to a water dispenser to wash his hands with soap before running back to class. The corridor he emerged from leads to and from the school’s restrooms. These are divided into two sections; one for boys and the other for girls. Each section has toilets, urinals and bathrooms.
These latrines have been serving pupils of JMLC ever since it was officially opened in 2009. Serving a growing population that now is over 200 members. “We had never done any renovation on these structures. Most of the wooden doors were broken or not locking and weather beaten. The paint had peeled off due to some leakages from the roof. And the drains were partially blocked,” explains Dr. James Kimera Ssekiwanuka, the Team Leader at CALM Africa. CALM Africa is the parent company of JMLC.
This poor state of sanitation was bound to cause some illness to the young community at JMLC. Yet health and wellbeing of children is a core concern of CALM Africa and hygiene is critical to this.
“Thanks to the very generous assistance from a couple of long-term supporters; we have been able to give our toilet blocks a new facelift,” says James with a happy face. “We have fitted in new doors, a new roof, cleaned and opened up the drainage channels, painted all the walls and cemented the floor surrounding the toilet and bathroom blocks,” he further explains.
One of this couple providing such valued help visited CALM Africa and volunteered at JMLC about seven years ago and has remained in contact ever since. She also sponsors one of the children at JMLC.
“The children are now very happy, especially the girls. This is because the new surface floor is easy to clean and the draining water runs off fast, keeping the place dry,” adds the team leader.
The 60 feet pit was examined by the contractor and found to be in very good condition to serve over 10 more years. To maintain high hygiene standards, the toilets are fumigated every term during the holiday periods.
JMLC uses the pit latrines due to lack of piped running water. “We are not connected to the National Water and Sewerage System because the network doesn’t extend to our location,” explains James. “We do have a borehole, and our future expansion plan is to pipe water from the borehole to the school and then be able to use flushable toilets”. But for now, sincere gratitude goes to those who have helped CALM Africa provide a level of sanitation and hygiene to keep the children safe.