Piloting a Community Led School Sanitation Improvement in Conflict Affected areas in ARMM Philippines was a success.

  • RoyCal
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Piloting a Community Led School Sanitation Improvement in Conflict Affected areas in ARMM Philippines was a success.

In order to implement the sanitation component of the Fit For School program we opted to shift in the strategy by including more trainees from the communities and share lessons learnt for rehabilitation and construction of toilets in schools.
The remaining beneficiary schools that have been selected with Department of Education Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Deped ARMM)were in Lanao area. This brings along some security challenges as the schools are in red areas and therefore GIZ and its contractors cannot directly access the schools.
The shift of strategy of GIZ in implementing sanitation facilities improvement from contractor led approach to community led brings high accomplishment rating making the DepEd ARMM decide to replicate it in island provinces.

The DepEd ARMM Regional Monitoring Team (RMT), Division Facilities Coordinators, School Heads and the Trained Sanitation Community Skilled Workers (SCSW) played a great role in this success.


The 3 agencies set up guiding roles and responsibilities to implement this approach:

DepEd ARMM Regional Office:

•Provide the delivery of construction materials from GIZ Warehouse in Cotabato City to the schools
•Committed to provide incentive reward worth Php 10,000.00 per school who completed the classroom toilet construction
•Conducts monitoring of the target schools

School communities:

•Identify a skilled worker to participate in the training
•Provide the needed labour
•Ensure the construction is completed in a timely manner

GIZ:

•Provide orientation to school heads and on-the-job training for CSW
•Provide construction materials to the schools

DepEd Regional Monitoring Team and GIZ FFS staff developed a simple monitoring tool for non-engineers to be use by the team during school site visits. This was used during the early stage of classroom toilet construction wherein during the school visit of RMT, and any findings was discussed to the school heads and the SCSW before leaving the school. This is to minimize back jobs and meet the standard classroom toilet set by DepEd ARMM.

Since rainfall in Lanao and Marawi areas is frequent, rainwater catchment is very feasible for school children have access to water inside the new constructed classroom toilets. Some of the schools replicated the temporary rainwater catchment that the skilled workers installed in the classroom toilets they have constructed.

Some of the output of community led classroom toilet constructed in Lanao and Marawi schools are shown in the attachment

As of today 32 out of 35 schools have completed the repair and construction of classroom toilet and received their reward incentives in the amount of Php 10,000.00. For the 3 schools they were given memo by the office of the DepEd ARMM Secretary to do lots of explaining on the status of the project.

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  • muench
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Re: Piloting a Community Led School Sanitation Improvement in Conflict Affected areas in ARMM Philippines was a success.

Dear Roy,

Thanks for your forum post and the interesting photos.
Could you tell us a bit more, e.g. what is your definition of "community led classroom toilet"? I see from the photos that the toilet room is directly connected to the classroom, right? Does this cause any problems with odour or noise? Are the pupils allowed to use the toilets during class time or only during the break? Do they feel embarrassed when they are directly seen entering or leaving the toilet? (which is why often these kind of "privacy walls" are used at the entrance of school toilets)

And in which sense would you say this is "community-led"? Does the community approach the school and says we want to build a toilet now? Or is the community selecting the masons who should be doing the work?

And what kind of toilets are these, are they pour flush toilets connected to a soak and drainage field? Are there any website links where people could find out more about your work?

It all sounds very interesting and with a high success rate (32 out of 35 schools have completed the repair and construction of classroom toilet )! I also think it's wonderful that you have the Department of Education on board (DepEd ARMM Regional Office), like is always the case for the Fit for School Activities that this falls under.
I am sure there are lots of lessons to be learnt for people interested in WASH at schools.

Regards,
Elisabeth

P.S. Could you tell us a bit more about your role in this project? Do you work for GIZ or for Fit for School?

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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  • JKMakowka
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Re: Piloting a Community Led School Sanitation Improvement in Conflict Affected areas in ARMM Philippines was a success.

muench wrote: Thanks for your forum post and the interesting photos.
Could you tell us a bit more, e.g. what is your definition of "community led classroom toilet"? I see from the photos that the toilet room is directly connected to the classroom, right? Does this cause any problems with odour or noise? Are the pupils allowed to use the toilets during class time or only during the break? Do they feel embarrassed when they are directly seen entering or leaving the toilet? (which is why often these kind of "privacy walls" are used at the entrance of school toilets)


Yes, I like the extra light from the transparent roof, definitely something we should have also done when I was working on a very similar project in the eastern Philippines...

To answer Elisabeth's question: The toilet in the class-room is something that is specified in the Philippine school construction standards. In my experience it is mainly used by the teachers, with separate block toilets outside for children to use during breaks. But I think for very urgent or more private matters (menstrual hygiene) the teachers allow the children to use it also from time to time. Odour and noise are not really a problem as these are always pour-flush toilets (so little smell and the flushing with a small scoop doesn't produce a lot of noise.
I am also 99% sure these are connected to small "septic tanks"... they are kind of ubiquitous in the Philippines and are simple two-chamber and soil infiltration systems not really up to normal standards for septic tanks (but working well enough in most cases for rural areas).
All in all not a bad solution, but the decentralized nature of these class-room toilets make it difficult to connect them to a larger and more efficient DEWATS.

Krischan Makowka
Microbiologist & emergency WASH specialist
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  • eshaylor
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Re: Piloting a Community Led School Sanitation Improvement in Conflict Affected areas in ARMM Philippines was a success.

HI Kris,

I may be wrong but I also think the toilet is to do with schools being used as evacuation centres. But cant remember where I saw that.

Esther

Esther Shaylor
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Working on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Phase 3 SuSanA project (see here: www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )
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