11 year old Breina is a student at FPLM Primary School, located in one of Maputo’s poorest neighbourhoods. Following a detailed survey and assessment, the WSUP supported Tchemulane project selected her school as a demonstration programme to improve the existing facilities and establish sustainable operation and management services.
The toilets at school have always been bad. There was an awful smell, they were always very dirty and we didn’t have a reliable water supply. Many students urinated and defecated outside.
I have been a student at this school for 7 years but, until now, I had never used the facilities. When I needed the toilet, I would leave school and go to a friend’s house. I didn’t use the school toilets because I was afraid of getting sick.
Sometimes I would have to wait a long time before going to the toilet, but I preferred to suffer than go to the school toilets.
We didn't have a regular water supply at school. We just had one tap which was used by all the students and the cleaning staff. We had to wait in a queue and fight to get water to drink. The water supply was unreliable and sometimes it was cut so the students attending the afternoon shift would have to go without water.
Things are different now. We are no longer afraid to use the toilets because they are kept clean and they don’t smell bad. They are cleaned by staff at least once in the morning period. I have no problem asking the teacher if I can go to the toilet and I don’t have to leave lessons to go to my friend’s house. We have a proper place to wash our hands after using the toilet.
Renovated sanitation block at FPLM school, Maputo
Photo: Zito Mugabe
We also have two more taps with regular water supply so we don’t have to fight to get water any more.
We are very happy with the improvement of our sanitation facilities and water supply. With these improvements, I hope that we will avoid the transmission of diseases such as diarrhoea and cholera and improve the health of all the students at the school.
I think my education will improve as a result of the new facilities
I no longer have to wait for a long time without going to the toilet or miss out on teaching time to go to the toilet at my friend’s house. Now, when I come to school, I feel relaxed and concentrate better in lessons. When I need to go to the toilet, I ask the teacher, I go, and I am able to wash my hands afterwards.
Photo: David Schaub-Jones
Breina and friends at FPLM school
Photo: Zito Mugabe
To maintain the new facilities, we have four members of staff who are responsible for cleaning at least twice a day and guards who ensure the safety of the school overnight. To guarantee proper use and sustainability of the facilities, all of our teachers talk to the students about the importance of personal hygiene.
The benefits that the school has seen, thanks to the support we have had from WSUP are beyond all of our expectations.
FPLM School Director Armindo Lissai
FPLM School - Key Facts