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Featured project

Domestos Cleaner Toilets, Brighter Future School Sanitation programme

The previous project, Piloting and Refining and School Sanitation Management Model has now expanded to include 150 schools under Domestos' "Cleaner Toilets, Brighter Futures" programme. Learnings from the much smaller pilot programme have been incorporated into this new programme, in which Domestos and PID are providing the following services to schools: 1. We train school cleaners and principals about why school sanitation matters and how to properly manage their school sanitation through regular cleaning, monitoring, and administrative procedures. 2. Schools receive necessary cleaning supplies and safety gear for 6 months to do the job effectively. 3. Schools receive ongoing support from PID's team of fieldworkers who assist them in addressing their specific struggles, whether that is learner behaviour, financial constraints, or others. The goal of the programme is that school cleaners, principals, staff, and learners are empowered to manage their school sanitation better, which will ultimately lead to more safe, healthy, and dignified toilets for learners. Furthermore, Domestos hopes to capacitate Department of Education officials to take ownership of this programme in the long run. We have been working closely with the District and Provincial Departments of Education in order to implement this programme on the ground. This pilot will last through the end of the 2018 school year.

Developing a health and safety programme for pit emptying

The primary purpose of sanitation is to protect people and the environment from the pathogens in faeces which can cause disease. In the case of on-site sanitation, faecal sludge must be handled periodically when the vault containing faeces is emptied. Pit emptying is often logistically difficult and there is significant risk of workers being exposed to diseases or householders’ environment becoming contaminated, putting them at risk. We developed a detailed health and safety programme to address the health and safety risks involved in pit emptying. The programme includes management tools and a training video for workers with safety protocols for minimizing the risk of exposure and contamination during pit emptying. The programme was utilised in a project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which involves eThekwini Municipality emptying the vaults of its Urine Diversion toilets. The tools developed in this project were offered to the contractor as a model for the health and safety programme which he is required to implement. The materials developed in this programme have wide-reaching application elsewhere as well, and the manual has already been adapted to the Rwandan context by Pit Vidura.

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Piloting and Refining a School Sanitation Management Model

Based on research on school sanitation, PID and the WRC developed Guidelines for School Sanitation and a School Sanitation Management Handbook, which we piloted in 2016/2017 in 7 schools in Vulindlela, just outside of Pietermaritzburg. This pilot demonstrated key factors that promote or hinder the effective management of school toilets, and it has now grown into a much larger pilot being funded by Domestos (see above). 

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