School-led sanitation promotion: Helping achieve total sanitation outcomes in Azad Jammu and Kashmir
School-based, activity-oriented, hygiene education techniques - if appropriately implemented - can lead to sanitation and hygiene improvements beyond schools, into households and wider communities. Teachers and students can help parents and communities at large to realize and adopt better practices. In turn, once realization is there communities can be innovative in appropriate sanitation solutions, which are affordable and hence sustainable. The challenge is adoption of consistent policies and strategies by the key players and capacity building of implementers and facilitators. In particular there is a need to focus on total sanitation and open defecation-free status as the objective and a criterion for success, rather than the numbers of latrines constructed.
This study focused on the usage of urinals in Kenyan schools and the potential impact of constructing urinals to improve access to school sanitation facilities. Our objectives were: to assess the latrine use patterns for sanitation infrastructure at Kenyan primary schools and to determine the optimal pupil: latrine ratio where adequate urinals are provided. Calculations were based on observation and pupil report. Boys' urinals are relatively inexpensive to construct and maintain, may be longer lasting, require little in the way of behaviour change, and can accommodate a large number of boys at one time. Construction of boys' urinals in order to provide additional latrines for girls may be the most cost-effective, equitable solution in both the short and long term and may offset the cost of more expensive facilities for girls. Access to urinals will help alleviate congestion at latrines, improve conditions, reduce maintenance costs, and sustain latrines longer.