Zhemgang School WASH Assessment

Project Funded by: Save the Children

SATO pan supported by: LIXIL

Awareness program funded by: SARAYA Timeline: 2 months

Project Area: Zhemgang

While implementing the Small Mitigation Action Project in Zhemgang Dzongkhag, Save the Children-US and Bhutan had realized the importance of addressing WASH- related disasters as a top priority in line with the project’s overall goal of decreasing the impact of hazards on some 4,700 children’s education in the Dzongkhag.

Save the Children is carrying out the disaster mitigation project in partnership with the Zhemgang Dzongkhag administration, Ministry of Education and the Department of Disaster Management. The stakeholders anticipate that the WASH related interventions be prioritized and carried out in the identified schools.

In this regard, Save the Children contracted Bhutan Toilet Org (BTO) to conduct a detailed assessment in the identified schools and provide actionable recommendations that may be implemented under the project. Specifically, the tasks involved the following:

  • Conduct WASH assessment in the identified schools in Zhemgang
  • Dzongkhag Based on the assessment results, produce WASH assessment report with appropriate WASH solutions and suggestions
  • Provide WASH technical support in the design and implementation of the WASH-related activities selected for implementation under the project
  • Deliver training/awareness session of WASH knowledge, skills and education in all the schools selected for the WASH mitigation action

Accordingly, we carried out WASH assessment in the 8 identified schools appropriately endorsed and supported by the Dzongkhag administration and the Education sector. The team also conducted similar exercises in the

5 Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD), which are mostly located in close proximity to the identified schools and are placed under management of the respective schools. As a preparatory exercise, BTO developed questionnaires that capture useful data and information from the identified schools.

Based on the physical monitoring of the WASH facilities, the team segregated the required interventions into those that can be carried out by the school administration and those that require outside support. The school WASH focal persons, who are also the school health in-charges, were briefed on the interventions that the team felt can be carried out by the schools without major outside support. Some of these activities include fixing a broken ceiling, repairing a cracked washbasin, toilet doors, broken water taps or replacing light bulbs.

The team recommended the project to help schools with the activities that require major funding. They may include building more toilets, redoing the old toilet interiors and installation of handwashing stations.

The team had submitted a preliminary report, which provides two levels of recommendations – to the individual schools and Save the Children, while they were still in the field.

Subsequently, based on Save the Children’s feedbacks and suggestions to segregate what are some of the actions that can done within May 2019 and what are the long-term proposal, the team submitted a list of what can be done immediately and waitlisted those requiring longer time and possibly more fund aside, to be proposed as future activities to Save the Children and its donors.

Based on that, Save the Children decided to further break down what it feels is really possible with the available funding and stipulated time- frame.

The final assessment report was submitted with list of interventions required for each school with estimated budget and time-frame, under the following sub categories;

  • Schools can do on their own
  • Requiring support from Save the Children or the government
  • Requiring immediate actions
  • Long-term activities

Further we are asked to make a list of activities that can be carried out within the next two months, and we submitted a list of 37 activities of which 11 activities were approved for immediate implementation in 11 different schools; construction of hand-washing stations, installation of water storage tank, laying of new water pipeline, fixing toilet doors, and most of all upgrading old pit/AP toilets.

Besides carrying out the 11 physical and structural activities we took the opportunity to talk to the students of the project schools
on the important roles they must play in maintaining the sanitation facilities in their schools. The sanitation education program was carried out with funding support provided by SARAYA.

Some 99 pit latrines and aqua-privy toilets that were upgraded to pour-flush toilets used SATO pan that was donated to BTO by LIXIL through JCI.

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