During an exciting event on 14 - 15 February 2017, BORDA Laos officially handed over the first School Based Sanitation (SBS) Lite project in Laos to Pakhaotai Primary School in Houayxay District, Bokeo Province. This was a milestone for BORDA Laos since it’s not only the first SBS project, but also the first Decentralised Wastewater Treatment Solutions (DEWATS) project in Bokeo, where many school sanitation facilities are old and insufficient, with wastewater being discharged untreated into the surrounding environment.
Before the implementation of the locally adapted SBS Lite project, Pakhaotai Primary School only had two toilets, each connected to a pit latrine. These two toilets were used by the school’s six teachers and 210 students, and were in bad condition. The sanitation facilities were clearly insufficient, leading some students to practise open defecation.
With much-appreciated funding from Johanniter and in cooperation with government partners and the appointed local WASH Committee, BORDA Laos was able to renovate the old school toilets and build three new gender-specific toilets, urinals and sinks that are now all connected to an onsite DEWATS plant.
During the handover event, BORDA Laos Project Officer Mr. Monivanh and BORDA Laos Community Facilitator Mr. Vansoukkhy conducted a DEWATS commissioning and a health impact evaluation (HIE), and also gave trainings to ensure the project’s long-term technical and social sustainability. These included operation and maintenance (O&M) training for the plant’s operator and the school’s teachers.
The school’s students received health and hygiene training focusing on the importance and execution of good health and hygiene practices including hand washing, teeth brushing and waste disposal. Mr. Vansoukkhy gave the children practical hands-on instruction, showing them step by step how to wash their hands properly with soap.
The renovated toilets, the newly built sanitation facilities and the DEWATS plant were officially opened by Mr. Phouthasen, Deputy Director General of DHUP, Mr. Somboun, Head of DPWT in Bokeo, and Ms. Kyra from Johanniter in a festive handover ceremony.
Government partners include the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPWT) represented by the Department of Housing and Urban Planning (DHUP), the Department of Public Works and Transport (DPWT) in Bokeo, the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) represented by the Education District Office, and the Department of Education in Bokeo.
BORDA Laos is very thankful for our cooperation with DHUP, DPWT in Bokeo, MoES and Johanniter, who together made our first SBS project in Laos possible. This success paves the way for future SBS projects that enable more children across Laos to benefit from safe and sustainable improved school sanitation facilities and hygiene education.
On 14-15 February 2017 BORDA Laos officially handed over the first School Based Sanitation (SBS) Lite project in Laos to Pakhaotai Primary School in Houayxay District, Bokeo Province
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