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03/22/2012

School Latrine Construction with Community

Samuel Ayume Agostino (29yrs) is a trained slab maker/latrine construction from Lujulo West Primary School in Morobo.  Lujulo West is one of the schools where JEN is implementing school latrine construction through community participation. The school also benefited from JPF 4 water supply for schools in 2011/12.

I found Samuel working at the latrine construction site together with his team of other constructors.  I asked him how they were able to complete the project while ensuring total support from the communities.

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He said:’ The first thing we did when JEN trained us was consult the communities. We did not do this on our own but with the support of JEN staff.  JEN was clear that they did not want to do anything that could create a dependency culture especially with a new nation and communities settling down, instead they emphasized the need for us to make the most of the skills, coping mechanisms and strengths that people already have. We were sure that our community will be able to do it, especially when they were confident in our newly acquired skills.  I was very eager to show to my community what I am able to do’

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The approach has definitely paid off.  We are now at the completion stage of latrine construction, roofing begins today and by the end of this week, we shall ensure remaining tasks are completed.  Altogether we have helped in the construction of 2 blocks of 2 stances latrine.
Samuel who is a father of 3 children said that earlier on there were no clean water sources in the village.  The community relied on water from a nearby stream.  Now they have a new borehole which is within the school compound.

When asked how the community supported the latrine construction process, he said that all the bricks used in the construction were burnt by members of the community.  Additionally they collected sand and aggregate.  They also ensured that workers at the site got food on a daily basis.  This was all done through the support of area chief, religious leader, teachers and parents of school children in Lujulo.  The children were equally not left out as they also made sure that there was adequate water for the workers at the latrine construction site.

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Ultimately, Lujulo west has demonstrated that communities can take action towards restoring dignity and becoming self reliant. With the new latrines, sanitation in the school will greatly be improved.   The school has become a role model for other villages in the locality.

(Project Officer: Elizabeth Mose)

March 22, 2012 in South Sudan |