Across Uganda students are dropping out because schools do not provide decent toilets. The problem is particularly acute for students with a disability. Working with the Gulu Disabled Persons Union, our Ugandan partner, we are seeking funds for accessible toilets at Awach School near Gulu Town. Parents are fully committed and we expect that over 1,000 students will benefit. GDPU's long-term goal is to boost enrollment and hygiene, and improve the quality of education throughout Gulu district.
Like other remote primary schools in Gulu district, the lack of accessible toilets at Awach creates a serious obstacle to obtaining a good education. Many schools lack bathrooms - and where facilities exist they are overcrowded and unsanitary. Squat latrines are particularly difficult for disabled students, who already face stigmatization and bullying. All of this lowers the quality of primary education and weakens the ability of schools to set an example to children and strengthen communities.
Patrick from GDPU and Chris from AP are leading a team to install accessible toilets at the Awach Central Primary School, which has over 1,000 students. More than 50 have a disability. The project has the enthusiastic support of parents (who helped to dig the latrine pit), the school principal, and the local authorities. Your donations will help the team to cover the cost of the toilets, train staff and students, and make sure that GDPU can follow up and measure the benefits later in the year.
Awach will be the third accessible toilet installed by GDPU and AP, and we are beginning to see some important long-term benefits. Enrollment and attendance have improved at the first two schools, and we have good reason to expect the same at Awach, particularly when it comes to students with disability. Our long-term goal is that these toilets not only benefit the selected schools but also encourage the district government to adopt this model of low-cost, high-impact water and sanitation.