Eco-sanition for Kakoma Primary School (Malawi)

By Empower Projects

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A little bit of context

Empower Projects is a registered non profit that works with schools and cooperatives in Malawi, Africa. We work n genuine partnership to support projects that are community-led and geared for long-term impact.

Kakoma Primary School is a rural school in Malawi's Lilongwe District. It has an enrolment of over 900 pupils and is working with Empower Projects to address a range of sustainability challenges such as student hunger & nutrition, access to electricity, water and proper sanitation facilities.

We've made some amazing progress so far! Through the collaborative efforts of staff, students and parents, we have been able to:

- Establish school food gardens to build up towards a school-run meal program. It will also provide the school with additional income.

- Install solar systems to provide the school with access to electricity. Night classes are now in operation!

But there’s a problem

However, sanitation remains a big challenge. With over 900 students and just 5 pit latrines to rely on...things are quite dire. As the Principal explains, there can be long lines to use the toilet. This can reduce student time in class and in some cases, deters students from coming to school at all. Then there's the matter of the foul smell and health hazzards that arise out of using pit latrines (holes in the ground) for too long...

Here’s what we’re doing about it

We have experience working with rural schools in Malawi , collaboratively addressing issues of sustainability in areas such as agriculture, energy, water and sanitation.

Our approach to sanitation involves training and employing local artisans to build eco-sanitation systems. Why eco-sanitation, you ask?

1. They are simpler and more cost-effective to construct than "western toilets" and do not require plumbing. Therefore, they are also easier for local artisans to replicate.

2. They are designed to keep urine and faeces seperate, allowing for this "waste" to be be hygenically used as manure/fertilizer to build local soil health.

Our plan for Kakoma Primary School is to contruct three large urinals (two for girls, one for boys) and two composting toilets. Our rationale being that large urinal facilities will drastically reduce the need to use single person toilets and pit latrines.

In addition to the construction of the toilets, we also train students on how to use these facilities. It also connects with our work in teaching students about sustainable agricultural their own "waste" can be hygienically fed into their fruit orchards. Students get to see how subject areas such as science, agriculture and health interact in practice.

Here's how you can help!

We need your help to fund the material and labour costs (local artisans) for this plan. A 100% of these funds go directly to the project, we cover our own staff and logistics.

Here's a breakdown of the costs involved:

1. Materials and labour for building x3 large urinals - AUD 1440

2. Materials and labour for building x2 toilets - AUD 1820

Your contributions can help make a lasting difference to successive cohorts of students at Kakoma Primary School. If you are in Australia, your donations are tax-deductible!

You can also help us by sharing this campaign with your networks via social media and email!

With gratitude,

Team Empower

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Team Members

Shanil Samarakoon

Sam Stark