Schools welcome new sanitation facilities

Staff and students of Kukudu Adventist Primary School and ADRA staff in front of the new sanitation facility.

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Ceremonies were held at two Adventist primary schools in Western Province, Solomon Islands, as they welcomed new sanitation facilities on May 28.

The sanitation facilities were provided by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Solomon Islands through the Turn on the Tap (TOTT) project. The project aims to partner with school leaders, education providers and provincial sectors to improve access to water, clean and safe toilets, sustainable menstrual supplies, and effective hygiene facilities.

Funded by ADRA Australia, the project prioritises the needs of female students and children with disabilities. Many female students in the Solomon Islands cannot attend school regularly due to inadequate toilet facilities that lack running water, privacy and are not designed to meet their needs. The project also aims to educate school leaders on ways to develop and maintain infrastructure that is compliant with national standards and guidelines.

Handing over ceremonies at Varu Adventist Primary School and Kukudu Adventist Primary School were overseen by the associate education director of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Solomon Islands, Andrianne Kele, and the area church pastor for Central Kolombangara Island, Alili Steven. Mr Kele expressed his gratitude to ADRA for funding the sanitation facilities for the schools.

Kukudu Adventist Primary School staff trying out the new facilities.

“On behalf of the education department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church here in Western Province, I would like to thank ADRA for funding these important sanitation facilities, fully supported and assisted by the community,” Mr Kele said.

TOTT project manager Sharon Kele said she stood with pride, acknowledging the achievement as one of the biggest developments for the schools and communities.

“Today we have witnessed the completion of the sanitation facilities that all have contributed to,” Mrs Kele said. “This project was started last year and finally completed this year.”

TOTT project manager Sharon Kele handing over the sanitation facility key to Kukudu Adventist Primary School principal Clinton Davis.

Kukudu Adventist Primary School principal Clinton Davis said the sanitation project contributes to the success of the school in the competitive and knowledge-dependent educational environment.

 “Our school is excited about this opportunity, and we are looking forward to working collaboratively to raise the level and quality of education in our school, communities and region,” Mr Davis said. “Despite challenges, we are confident about our brighter future in our village homes and communities.”

Varu Adventist Primary School headmaster Derick Ghele also expressed appreciation on behalf of the community and church to ADRA Solomon Islands for making the project possible.

“For years, this school has struggled with inadequate facilities that posed serious health risks to our children,” Mr Ghele said. “Lack of proper hygienic practices not only affected their physical wellbeing but also hindered their ability to learn and thrive.

“However, we are so thankful to ADRA for these wonderful and high-quality facilities, giving us access to clean and safe sanitation.”

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