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Update on Engineers Without Borders in Ukunda: Construction of school UDDTs completed

Posted by Leonie Kappauf according to information provided by Stefan Miethig from Engineers Without Borders (stefan.miethig@gmx.de). (24 January 2011)

The school sanitation project in the DARAD education centre in Ukunda (see blog entry by Julia Seitz from March 2011) is now completed. Engineers Without Borders Germany (regional division Aachen) have facilitated the construction of a school toilet block with separate facilities for girls (4 urine diversion dehydration toilets (UDDTs)) and boys (three urinals and three UDDTs) as well as one barrier-free toilet (single vault Wonderloo) for persons with special needs.

The toilets are maintained by school staff. Staff members and the newly formed students' "Health Club" share the responsibility of explaining new students and guests how to properly use the new toilets. Water for the handwashing facilities is provided by a rainwater harvesting system.

School toilet with rainwater harvesting tanks

The construction phase was challenging and EWB will use the lessons learned for the design of future projects. Main challenges have been: (i) low quality of available building materials which made adaptations of the design necessary, (ii) delayed by construction permits. As a result the construction period turned out to be longer than expected which caused higher costs for the repayment of the loan. In addition the costs were increased by unexpected costs for required permissions. The relatively high costs might be one factor that discouraged the local population and local NGOs to replicate the toilet design so far. To overcome this challenge and promote the adaptation of safe toilet facilities EWB is now planning to revisit the project site and to build a low-cost demonstration toilet. Building such a demonstration toilet  as was also included in the original project plans but the realization had to be postponed due to time constraints.

Training of school staff

Despite the initial challenges Engineers without Borders have received very positive feedback from the students and teachers. Students of the new formed "Young Farmers Club" are now using the urine as fertilizer in the school gardens. The club members also exchange experiences with the local office of the Ministry of Agriculture in Likoni and have learned about “balcony farming”. In January 2012 the dried faeces from the chambers were removed for the first time and brought to nearby farmers.
Gardening activities in the school

Engineers without Borders wishes to thank the GIZ ecosan team for their support with getting the required permissions and training the school staff. Special thanks goes to Wycliffe Osumba, Paul Patrick Onyango and Christian Rieck.

For more photos of the project please visit:

wakala  – (August 29, 2012 at 7:32 AM)  

Thanks to Engineers without Borders for the wonderful work done. Red Cross Kenya is studying the success of the school sanitation in Ukunda to be replicated and improved for Samburu and Isiolo County as seen in the story here on our network.

wakala  – (August 29, 2012 at 7:33 AM)  


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