The Mkutani Primary School is attended by approximately 640 students (312 boys
and 328 girls). Although a six toilet latrine block for boys was constructed in October 2017 with financial assistance from the NGO, UFUNKO, the girl’s latrine block remains in poor and deteriorating condition. Not only does the substandard state of the latrines contribute to girls not attending school, the number of latrines available is not in compliance with Tanzanian School Guidelines. The Guidelines state that there should be at least one toilet stall per 20 female students. During an implementation trip in Summer 2018, concerns were raised about the conditions of these toilet stalls.

The poor condition of these latrines contributed to young girls not feeling comfortable attending school while menstruating. These concerns were later confirmed in a subsequent assessment trip during Summer 2019. Through focus groups with school-aged girls, the team concluded that the deteriorating conditions of these toilet stalls indeed was one of the factors that prevented them from going to school. In particular, female students aged 6 to 15 years old expressed a need for a private washroom that would allow them to clean and hang dry their menstrual hygiene cloths in a safe, judgement-free environment. The focus group unanimously expressed the need for improved latrines containing a private space with water for cleaning themselves, their clothing, and a lock for the doors to ensure their privacy and safety.

EWB-BPC submitted the design and report for the girl’s latrine block in September 2020. This design involves the construction of one private washroom and 12 individual stalls, each with a ceramic pan and some form of latch on the door to ensure privacy while maintaining the safety of the younger girls. The Feminine Sanitation Team from the EWB-MIT Student Chapter is working with the Boston Professional Chapter to develop educational posters and materials for the children of the primary school in relation to sanitation and puberty. The implementation trip is planned for January 2021.

Current state of the girl’s latrines
EWB-BPC’s proposed design for the new latrines