You are like-d by the village around Makindu Primary School. They want you to mark their rainwater harvesting tank as illustrated above, for free, see more details here. When you agree, they get water which they currently have little of. When you agree, you will also enable many more similar schools and villages to get water and toilets.
Public toilets that are poorly located generate a sense of neglect, attracting vandalism, anti-social behaviour and social disorder. And lack of available and appropriate facilities at the right time encourages fouling, and treating diseases associated with open defecation such as typhoid, dysentery or cholera is a significant and costly task.
These issues, if not tackled effectively, can generate a cycle of decline, leading to more entrenched social problems, and seriously impairing quality of place and quality of life for local people.
Others have seen this reality before. HIGHWAY ACT 1980 Part VII Provision of Special Facilities for Highways states that “…112 Provision of picnic sites and public conveniences for users of trunk roads (1) The Minister may provide on land adjoining, or in the vicinity of, a trunk road that is not a special road a picnic site for motorists and others likely to use the road with space for parking vehicles and a means of access to and from a highway. An area of any such land as aforesaid in which there are, or are to be, provided such a picnic site, parking space and means of access as aforesaid is in this Act referred to as a “trunk road picnic area “.
“(2) The Minister may erect buildings and execute works on a trunk road picnic area for the purpose of providing all or any of the following:— (a) parking places for vehicles, (b) a means of access to or from the area from or to a highway, (c) public sanitary conveniences (including lavatories), and…”
“…(5) The Minister may provide public sanitary conveniences (including lavatories) in proper and convenient situations on or under land forming part of a trunk road that is not a special road, or adjoining, or in the vicinity of, such a road and may manage such conveniences…”
We are thrilled to announce that we have today submitted to Billion Dollar Business Alliance (BDBA) our offer to build filters next to water ponds that BDBA are currently building in Kenya.
Our offer is based on fact that cleaning of water is not part of activities BDBA is doing. They are harvesting rainwater for agriculture and, apparently, they assumed that farmers would not use the water for domestic purposes. Our contribution to the BDBA project will enable beneficiaries of the ponds to use the water for drinking as well – for a large number of the beneficiaries, this will be their only water source.
We have also offered to build toilets in toilet-less homes and along roads that are within areas that drain water to the ponds. This will reduce pollution of water that will end up in the ponds. The SANI SOLAR toilets sun dry faeces and urine to form fertiliser that the farmers will need.
We sent our offer through BDBA’s Maimbo M. Malesu of World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). ICRAF, WFP and Government of Kenya are members of the BDBA.
“Kenya Roads Board acknowledges that the task (RaHa has) been assigned is a nobble one and important”
KBR EXECUTIVE DIRECOR
Eng. Jacob Z. Ruwa, OGW
The assignment referred to is installing SANI SOLAR toilets on roads, to be used free of charge, in line with recent directive by the Kenya Ministry of Health aiming to improve public access to better quality toilets.
Businesses respond to motivations. Businesses operate as part of communities and hold as much of a stake in supporting local community amenities and promoting civic pride as the locals themselves.
Family businesses and independents, for instance, may have connections with their local area going back generations. SANI SOLAR public toilets will make such businesses to remain connected with their local area.
Transport operators – like any commercial business – will only make the most of their commercial opportunities if there are public toilets that their passengers demand, many times quietly.
International and national chains, on the other hand, often have a strong social or community support ethos as part of their corporate policy. Opportunities to provide free services and, sometimes, funding for local community initiatives motivates them – and public toilets provide the opportunity.
Today, we received letter above from Kenya Roads Board (KRB). KRB’s executive director, Eng. Jacob Z. Ruwa, on behalf of the board, acknowledges that the building of solar toilets on the roads in Kericho County is noble and important.
Main reason for building the toilets on road reserves is safety of the public and maintenance staff. This mitigates against a range of actual and perceived safety risks to person and property that may be encountered at public toilets. These include anti-social behaviours such as vandalism, graffitiing, loitering, and drug abuse.
Building the toilets on road reserves is the only means of ensuring that entrances of the toilets face onto the most active space. This alone will reduce the likelihood of crime in set locations. While it is impossible to ‘design out’ crime, careful planning and detailing with crime in mind have been shown to reduce actual crime and unintended behaviours, and to improve public perception of personal safety.
USA based, Building Tomorrow, Inc., joins with RaHa in bringing toilets in Kyassonko Primary School and water in St. Timothy Bunyere Primary school.
Olivia Schneider, Program Associate of Building Tomorrow has just written to RaHa confirming there support.
As of May 2018, Building Tomorrow has opened 62 fully operational schools in Uganda, providing enough learning space for over 20,000 students and counting. Through their Thriving Schools Program, they have enrolled over 24,000 formerly out-of-school children back in school.
Altogether, through both their Building Tomorrow Primary Schools and Thriving Schools Program, Building Tomorrow serves over 101,000 students each and every day.
They continue to push towards completing their Educate51k plan as part of the Clinton Global Initiative, a five year, $12 million plan to provide a safe, local, permanent, quality and supportive learning environment for an additional 50,980 children across Uganda. And everyday they work to achieve their vision of a world where every child has access to an inclusive, quality education.
Places – where we live, school, travel, shop, work, take recreation – are more accessible and attractive when public toilets are well planned, designed, maintained, clearly signposted, and available when people need to use them. They are one of a range of amenities that help to attract a more diverse range of visitors, encouraging them to spend longer in the country, and to visit again.
Being able to access a toilet is a fundamental need for any visitor therefore, a lot of clean toilets should be built so that information about the toilets can be distributed wildly, signposts regarding clean toilets should be on all roads – tourists choose their destinations carefully, drawing on their previous impressions, talking to friends and family, looking up feedback on the internet.
This Madaraka Day, we were invited to renovate toilets that have been used for only 6 years. 6 years is a very short period of time for toilets to require renovation. Something must have been done wrongly.
To avoid making the same mistake, we ask: what happened, especially to the walls and floors?
A lack of good toilets affects not only the quality of our schools, it also reduces the dignity and quality of our lives. After all, they are one of the basic facilities that we depend on. Good quality provision instils confidence in public facilities as a whole, helps to inspire positive impressions, and contributes to many other important aspects of life.
It is important that children have the confidence that the facilities they need are available when they are in school – children rightly expect accessible, clean, safe and well maintained toilets.