Rushambya Primary School is a rural government supported, faith based public school located at Kyeibaare Parish, Mutara Town Council, Mitooma District in Western Uganda approximately 348.7 kilometers by road from the capital, Kampala. The school was opened in 1975, and currently has an enrolment of 346 pupils; 180 girls and 166 boys. The school has 7 teachers on Government payroll and 5 private teachers paid by parents through the Parents and Teachers Association. The school is exclusively day, and sits on four (4) acres of land that was donated by St. Mark Church of Uganda (Anglican), Kyeibare. Mitooma District being largely a rural district, most of school parents are subsistence farmers. The district is also prone to unfavourable climatic conditions including long drought spells and hailstorms that negatively impacts on farming. In 2014, the Government of Uganda through Mitooma District Local Government constructed 2 permanent classroom blocks at the school. The school old students funded the construction of staff quarters in 2017. Despite these improvements however, the school academic performance, as well as enrolment have been declining since 2015.
A team of 3 Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Kampala Ssese Islands conducted a Community Assessment in Rushambya Primary School and its catchment areas on 20th September 2023. The team held meetings with key stakeholders including; pupils, teachers, non-teaching staff, the Headteacher, the Senior Woman Teacher, the Lay Reader (Leader of Church community), the Mutooma District Inspector of Schools and the Assistant District Water Officer (Sanitation). Following the meeting the team inspected facilities at the school to ascertain their state and adequacy.
Community Needs and Challenges:
The team identified the following needs and challenges: -
• Less than 50 percent of pupils who start school at Rushambya Primary School actually finish their primary level education.
• The school had one 4-stanza latrine shared by both girls and boys, it lacked girl-friendly conveniences for menstrual hygiene management, and there was reported high absenteeism from girls due to lack of sanitary items like pads.
• The school did not have disabled-friendly latrines despite having children with disabilities.
• Although the school had improvised handwashing facilities, they were grossly inadequate.
• The school had a 5,000lt. rainwater harvesting water tank. It was however grossly insufficient to provide the necessary drinking, bathing and cooking water for pupils and teachers, particularly during the dry season. Besides, the school sharing this same water source with the congregation of St. Mark Church of Uganda Kyeibare and the community. Most of the existing rainwater collection systems also needed some form of repair.
• The cemented floor in 6 out of the 10 classrooms were worn out, and learners were tormented by both dust and jiggers.
• The school had insufficient and inadequate furniture. A desk that should accommodate 3 learners was being shared by up to 6 pupils.
• Improve access to better sanitation facilities and safe drinking water by pupils, teachers and the community
• Improve school attendance and retention among girls and children with disabilities
• Improve learning environment and academic performance by pupils
• Improve sanitation and hygiene knowledge by the teachers, pupils and the community
The project will directly benefit 346 pupils (180 girls and 166 boys), 12 teachers and 2 non-teaching staff of Rushambya Primary School, and a church congregation of about 300 worshipers and staff of St. Mark Church of Uganda, Kyeibare. In additional, the project will indirectly benefit over 5,000 parents and community members since the pupils will act as agents of behavioural change in their homes and communities.
How the Project will address the Identified Needs:
Three new segregated VIP pit latrines, two for Rushambya Primary School (one each for boys and girls), and one for St. Mark Church of Uganda, Kyeibare will be constructed. The boys' latrine will have six (6) stances (one dedicated to disabled children) and a urinal, while the girls' wing will have six (6) stances (one for children with disabilities), a separate room for hygiene and menstrual management and waste-covered bins for disposal of sanitary pads. The stances for disabled children will be fitted with disability-friendly accessories. Handwashing stations will also be provided close to each latrine to promote hand-washing practices.
The school will also receive one 10,000lt. plastic water tank complete with rainwater harvesting accessories to improve availability of and access to water by pupils and staff. The missing fittings on existing water harvesting systems will also be replaced. Additionally, hygiene and sanitation education including training in making of reusable sanitary pads - to empower adolescent girls and community women with knowledge and skills to manage their menstrual hygiene in a sustainable way - will be part of the wider context of health education in the school and the catchment community. Also, the worn out floors in the 6 classrooms will be repaired; and 50 new wooden desks will be provided to supplement the existing stock.
The proposed project will be implemented in partnership with the parents and old students who will contribute some local building materials such as sand, aggregates and labour while Rotary will procure the other project components including water storage tanks, wooden desks, bricks, cement, fittings and masonry and other technical expertise. Furthermore, the project will be executed in close collaboration with local Government technical departments to enhance sustainability. The District Education Officer, the District Water Officer, the District Inspector of Schools and the District Health Officer will provide the necessary technical input, oversight and follow-ups, as well as participate in the proposed project trainings. St. Mark Church of Uganda, Rushambya will mobilize worshippers to participate in the project, and offer project monitoring.
• Construction of 3 new VIP pit latrines with associated sanitation amenities
• Installation of one 10,000lt. plastic water tank complete with rainwater harvesting fittings
• Repair of floors in 6 classrooms
• Procurement of 50 new wooden desks
• Repair of existing water harvesting systems
• Training to improve hygiene and sanitation knowledge of teachers, pupils and the community
1. One new boys' latrine complete with associated sanitary amenities US$6,500
2. One new girls' latrine complete with associated sanitary amenities US$7,400
3. One new latrine for St. Mark Church of Uganda, Kyeibare US$6,000
4. Installation of one water tank and rainwater harvesting systems US$2,850
5. Repair of floors for 6 classrooms US$5,200
6. Repair of existing water harvesting systems US$700
7. Procurement of 50 desks US$1,640
8. Hygiene and sanitation training including making of sanitary pads US$3,100
9. Monitoring and Evaluation US$3,200
10. Rotary signage US$500
11. Contingency US$1,000