Not just new latrines

I’m delighted to have received further updates about the sanitation improvements that CanAssist is funding at the Mutundu Primary School in Kenya.

Toilet for girls at the Mutundu School – Spring 2012

I first wrote about this in a blog article in June (Sanitation – or lack of it) and subsequently updated it last month (Sanitation – Making progress) As you can see from the photos, the state of the toilets for staff and students at the school when our Kenyan assistant, Dan Otieno, assessed them was nothing short of disgusting.

Last week I received more pictures of the new latrines at the Mutundu School I would like to share along with some hidden advantages to the community from the kind of development work we are doing through the CanAssist African Relief Trust.

New CanAssist-funded girls toilet at Mutundu School. August 2012

I have come to realize that often the stimulus to a community provided by the funding of an infrastructure project such as this one has other less obvious benefits. The materials for construction are all locally purchased and the skilled (and unskilled) labourers to construct the projects are local tradesmen, often without much work. So we are not only providing the structure or item that will be part of the community and improve well-being there, we are also giving some employment to the locals, albeit temporary.

CanAssist recently sent money to another school in Uganda – Hope for Youth School near Mukono – to purchase 70 desks and chairs for the school. The cost comes to just over $5000 to do this. The bonus is that the desks and chairs will all be made locally by carpenters who will therefore benefit as well. This is a Win-Win situation. The school gets the needed furnishings and the local carpenters (and suppliers) benefit from the business.

It makes me happy to see this work at the Mutundu school progressing, knowing that the sanitation (and thereby health) conditions at the school will be greatly improved. I am also glad that the community are having some opportunity to participate in the construction and even earn a bit of money as they contribute to achieving these goals.

When money for infrastructure projects like the latrines at Mutundu School becomes available, it creates lots of interest in the community, a sense of ownership of the project and employment for tradesmen in the region.

One thought on “Not just new latrines

  1. Pingback: A letter from Africa | johnageddes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s