CUMMINS PARTNERSHIP

Pupils demonstrating hand washing

Over the past 3 years, Global Communities has developed a partnership with Cummins Foudation to undertake projects in the area of WASH specifically in Schools.

in 2015, Global Communities, in partnership with Cummins Ghana implemented a school wash improvement project in the Laterbiokorshie Cluster of schools with a total enrolment of 1428 pupils. Located in the Ablekuma Central Sub-metropolitan Area of Accra, the cluster is made up of two Kindergarten, three Primary Schools and two Junior High Schools.

Over a period of six months, Global Communities in collaboration with the School Health Education Program (SHEP), Cummins Ghana and the Parent Teacher Association of the various schools making up the cluster tackled water, sanitation and hygiene challenges confronting pupils and teachers in the cluster of schools.

Cummins supported the cluster of schools to rehabilitate a 22-seater water based latrine with two dedicated for the use of the male and female teachers. This facility was earlier constructed by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly but has remained dysfunctional owing to unavailability of water and some defects with the latrine. A borehole which was also abandoned was repaired under the project and then fitted with a reverse osmosis water purification system making water drawn from the system potable for use of the pupils.

Additionally, the rather low fence walls of the cluster of schools was raised to acceptable heights to ward off intruders, who hitherto accessed the compound of the school frequently and without inhibition to indulge in practices which were not compatible with teaching and learning.

Global Communities on the other hand facilitated the formation and training of school-based WASH Clubs on hygiene practices like regular and proper handwashing, hygienic use and maintenance of school latrines. The WASH Club members equipped with flyers and poster bearing hygiene messages later embarked on community sensitization in Laterbiokorshie, transferring the knowledge gained in hygiene behavior change.

Refresher training for School hygiene coordinators and training of Cummins Ghana staff using the Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation transformation (PHAST) methodology was also done for replication and upscaling to be made possible. Food vendors operating in the school were also educated on responsible water usage, proper food handling, storage and preparation to safeguard the health of pupils and teachers who patronize food sold in the cluster.

Additionally, Global Communities supported formation of School Management Committees and the development and implementation of facility management plans for the sustainability of interventions under the project.

The schools in the cluster were also provided with 16 handwashing facilities to facilitate proper and regular handwashing by pupils and teachers. Two of the hand washing facilities were also stationed at the canteen area to encourage patrons to wash their hands properly before and after eating. The food vendors take turns to provide water and soap for the handwashing facilities at the canteen.

Through a resolution passed by the PTA and approved by the SMC, parents and guardians of pupils pay levies towards the provision of handwashing soaps, cleaning detergents and tools, disinfectants, toilet rolls and other materials needed to keep the WASH facilities operational.

The interventions has tremendously improved school attendance, reduced truancy, with pupils having the convenience of a hygienic and functional school latrine, potable water and an environment free of undue intrusion; all being prerequisites for effective teaching and learning.

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