Darul Hidjra Islamic School Benefits from United Way Ghana’s Wash Project
Nationally, on average 22.9 percent of people in Ghana do not have access to any sanitation facility. The lack of toilet facilities in schools contributes to pupil and teacher absenteeism and poor academic performance of the pupils. This is why United Way Ghana under its Improving Basic Education program implemented the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project in one of its beneficiary schools in Ayawaso.The 8-toilet facility constructed is a compact on-site organic waste treatment system that combines the benefits of the flush system and those of the composting toilets. It was officially opened to the pupils and teachers of Darul Hidjra Islamic School on June 24, 2019 at the school premises. This construction project was facilitated by United Way Ghana and funded and constructed by Clifton Homes, an international construction firm, with support from Biofilcom Limited.
United Way Ghana and Clifton Home’s WASH project was initiated to improve the health and learning performances of pupils by reducing the incidence of water and sanitation related absenteeism and diseases. By providing the school with the much-needed toilet facility, pupils and teachers will not miss school days or learning hours whenever the need to use a toilet facility arises. In addition to the facility, United Way Ghana in partnership with the Community Water and Sanitation Agency educated the children on good hygiene practices to enable them stay healthy and active in school.
Darul Hidjra Islamic School, the school chosen for the WASH is located in Maamobi in the Ayawaso North sub-metro. It was founded in 1977 by Sheikh Nuhu Jajah. The school has never had a toilet facility since its establishment and thus the 452 pupils and their teachers have to use the toilet of a community member nearby. Despite their apparent need of a toilet facility, Darul Hidjra Islamic School was chosen mostly because they practiced good maintenance culture.
The handing over ceremony was well attended by parents, community leaders, representatives from the Community Water and Sanitation Agency- Greater Accra, Clifton Homes, Biofilcom Limited, and staff and pupils from the school. Altogether, there were sixty people present at the opening ceremony. The stakeholders appreciated United Way Ghana and its partners for choosing the school. The former Assembly Man, Alhaji Abu expressed his gratitude during his remarks, “we thank you and I speak for the community when I say, we would ensure that it was well maintained”.
Grace Braimah, the Project Coordinator of United Way Ghana, shared that she was excited about the project, “the toilet facility will positively impact the attendance of the pupils and provide the girls a safe facility particularly during their menstruation”. “I can use this new facility without worrying about the stench it would leave in my uniform” said Adisa Hawa, a junior high school pupil when asked how she felt about the new toilet facility.
The Assistant Headmistress also shared her excitement on how the new facility has reduced pupil absenteeism in the school. The community, in their efforts to ensure that the 8-unit toilet facility is properly managed, employed a janitor from the community.
The WASH Project in Darul Hidjra Islamic School has not only impacted the lives of the pupils and teachers but has brought the community together now more than ever. This project also allows United Way Ghana to support the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 17 which stand for good health and wellbeing and partnerships.