SEED is excited to update you on the newest construction project of programme Sekoly: the Esohihy Primary School. Beginning in March, the community and team came together to transform the one-classroom school into a safe and healthy space for its 144 students and four teachers.
The local community has been involved in its construction, beginning with a traditional ground-breaking ceremony where the community gathered and a community leader blessed the land. Community members graciously provided nearby land for the brick maker’s site to help with high transportation costs, and have assisted the team in helping to deliver bricks to the construction site (pictured). Since the ceremony, the project has faced challenges, but Esohihy Primary School is underway and even has plans to be completed by September 2022.
In early May, heavy rain caused some slight delay as parts of the construction site flooded, but progress continued and after a few months Esohihy Primary school is taking shape! To date, we have constructed three new classrooms, the foundations of the teachers’ housing, six gender-segregated latrines and the beginning stages of the menstrual health/hygiene management facility. SEED has also trained all four teachers in WASH education, built two hand washing stations, and has even added ‘encouragements’ for healthy habits: a concrete path with footprints leading from the latrines to handwashing stations and an informative WASH mural to prompt good hygiene practice. And on top of all of that, a 10,000-litre rainwater harvesting system will soon be installed to provide the school with a supply of safe drinking water.
Project Esohihy is coming to life thanks to the community and Sekoly team. We look forward to sharing the final construction stages and ultimately the 150 children making use of a more adequate and safe learning environment.
Without a designated building for secondary school students, teachers and students of Mandiso Lower Secondary School utilise the dilapidated church and town hall as makeshift classrooms. Due to a lack of sanitation facilities on school grounds, students are forced to share latrines with the community, which are often full, leading to increased rates of open defecation. In February, Cyclone Batsirai and Cyclone Emnati caused severe disruptions to operations, resulting in the immediate evacuation of SEED’s construction team from the field. Cyclone Emnati caused damage to one of the walls under construction at Mandiso and also caused a tree to fall where the latrine blocks were meant to be built. Fortunately, the SEED team were able to quickly rebuild this damaged wall, as well as the remaining walls on the school building. The team also cleared the latrine block site, cutting and removing the fallen tree, giving the wood back to the community for use.
Within the Sekoly Programme, the production and transportation of building materials to sites produces carbon dioxide emissions that contribute negatively to climate change; disproportionately impacting communities such as Mandiso. Project Sekoly: Maintso (Green School in Malagasy) seeks to offset the carbon footprint of the Sekoly Programme. The emissions produced during the construction of Mandiso School are calculated at 44,640 kgCO2e. In March, SEED planted 350 Acacia mangium trees to offset the emissions over a period of 10 years. An additional 350 trees have been planted in a resource use plantation, providing the community with a sustainable wood resource. Alongside this, 100 fruit trees – including papaya, mango, and soursop – are being planted between the plantations and around Mandiso Lower Secondary School. These fruit trees will provide a sustainable source of nutrition for the school students as well as the wider community.
Despite 63% of children completing primary school, only 35.5% of children in Madagascar graduate from lower secondary school. These issues are amplified in rural schools across Madagascar’s Anosy region, where over half of children aged six to ten years have never attended school. Moreover, 6,900 Malagasy children die annually from water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) related diseases; insufficient WASH infrastructure within schools has contributed to the transmission of deadly diseases amongst children.
SEED’s Sekoly Programme aims to improve health and education in Madagascar’s rural Anosy region by providing education and WASH facilities for 430 students and 19 teachers annually through the Emagnevy Primary School and Mandiso Lower Secondary School. To provide clean water for drinking and handwashing, SEED will install a 10,000 litre capacity rainwater harvesting system- enough to provide two months’ worth of clean drinking water without replenishment. We will also repair the existing well at the site, providing clean drinking water for the wider community.
To complement this improved sanitation infrastructure, SEED will train 19 teachers across the two schools to deliver WASH education sessions. A committee of school staff and community leaders has been established at Emagnevy Primary School to manage WASH and education facilities in the long-term. WASH education training with committee members and teachers was delivered successfully in Emagnevy in November 2021.
The Emagnevy Primary School build is well underway, with the school scheduled to finish on time in February 2022. SEED plans to begin repairs on the existing classroom once the new building is full constructed, with a total of 70 desks and benches having been constructed. At Emagnevy, the construction of three gender-segregated ventilated improved pit latrines and one MHM facility has begun, which will improve safe sanitation access for 350 students and 10 teachers. At its completion, 185 students will be enabled to attend school on a fulltime basis.
In Madagascar, over 70% of children live in poverty and thousands die from preventable water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) related illnesses each year. Many schools have insufficient or non-existent WASH facilities, contributing to poor school attendance, with only 32% of children finishing primary school.
In Madagascar’s rural Anosy region, Vatambe Primary School and Mahatalaky Lower Secondary School were faced with insufficient WASH and education infrastructure, impeding students from attending full-day classes and from practicing proper handwashing and menstrual hygiene management. SEED addressed these issues through our WASH in Schools project.
Completed in time for the new school year, SEED repaired and constructed a total of thirteen latrines, four handwashing stations, and two menstrual hygiene management facilities across both schools. Additionally, one rainwater harvesting system was installed at each school to provide students, teachers, and their local communities with clean drinking water. SEED built three primary school classrooms in Vatambe, enabling students to attend full days of school. In total, the project has provided 773 students and 28 teachers across both schools with vital WASH facilities and high-quality education infrastructure.
The handover ceremony for Vatambe Primary School was held in June 2021, when the responsibility for maintaining the school and equipment was formally transferred to the community. The community blessed the new building before its opening and celebrated with a traditional Zebu sacrificial ceremony. The keys to Mahatalaky Lower Secondary School were handed over to the Headmaster in July 2021. The teachers and students at both schools are excited to start off the school year with the new and improved education and WASH infrastructure.
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