Happier, healthier students
Updated Sep 06, 2018
Written by World Vision Uganda; Edited by Kaija Hutteri and Katie Hackett
Sanitation issues threatened students’ health and education
Poor sanitation threatened to close a primary school in the community of Kamuda. Without proper latrines and sinks to wash their hands, many students were dropping out. The situation was especially difficult for girls. Sadly, inadequate sanitation is one of the most common reasons that children in Kamuda abandon their education.
The children that continued to attend were at risk for a variety of hygiene-related illnesses. Severe diarrhea and skin diseases were common among the student population. The frequency of these illnesses made it difficult for children to attend school regularly. As a result, many students had low grades.
School enrolment dropped steadily from 453 students down to 249. In light of the unsanitary learning conditions and declining student population, the district education office threatened to close the school. Administrators were given two months to turn the situation around.
Sponsorship brings new latrines, and school doors stay open
Faith, the school’s head teacher, approached the district education office for help with the cost of construction but was told there were no funds available for the project. With time running out, the school management committee shared their situation with World Vision staff.
Because of the support of Canadians sponsoring children in Kamuda, we were able to partner with the school to build proper latrines and keep its doors open.
“I am so thankful for the help we received,” says Faith. “New latrines allow children to come to school and study well. There are now fewer incidences of diarrhea and skin diseases. We keep the latrine clean and children have adopted better hygiene practices, like washing their hands with soap.”
Since the new latrines were built, school enrolment has jumped back up from 249 students to 432. Boys and girls that attend are healthier, more motivated in their studies and happy to have a cleaner learning environment.
“The community of Kamuda and the teachers at our school are hopeful that the academic performance of children will improve,” says Faith. “Children now attend regularly.”