Orton’s Drift Primary school is a school located 20km outside Mvuma the heart of Chirumanzu District. The school is a part of the schools in the STRENGTH in Children project, a project aiming to build resilience in the school-going children. The school’s current enrolment stands at 380 which is 189 females and 191 males.
On average a primary school student visits the toilet between 6 to 8 times a day and the visits are more frequent with the smaller age groups between 4-8years old. The recommended squat hole/pupil ratio is 1/20 meaning 1 squat hole as to 20 pupils. The school since establishment has relied on a five squat hole toilet serving the entire schools population and the stuff.
The ablutions were now a hazard as they were filling up leaving the school only using 4 squat holes for the entire school population. The coming in of the STRENGTH in Children project assisted with materials to construct an 8 squat hole toilet which would also cater for children living with disabilities.
The construction of the ablution block began in July and the ablution block was opened for use the last week of September 2021. The block has eased the pressure with which the students would queue for toilet use. the school had two children living with disabilities who received assistance and managed to transfer to Jairo’s Jiri a school for children with special needs. The school received building material under the project. the school then mobilised locally available materials such as bricks, sand and labour for construction.
“The construction of the ablution block at Orton’s Drift has greatly reduced the queues, children would lose school time while waiting their turn to use the toilet, at times the smaller grades would end up soiling their pants while awaiting their turn” said Ms V Gumbu the school headmistress. The school teachers also expressed how dire the situation had been and hence they are grateful for the project. The school is now able to cater for children with disabilities hence children will no longer have to transfer to distant schools.
‘’Train up a child in the way that they should grow in action, the project has hence implemented the saying and is building resilience at young ages through the club trainings, ablutions reconstruction and even the establishment of a nutritional garden at the school.