Ecokids – Learning by doing

Ecokids is here again! … to bring a clean and hygienic learning environment to schools and also to ensure pupils have access to drinking water.

Our volunteer Zita carried out several visits to Government School (GS) Alamatsom reaching out to 503 pupils of the primary section of the school sensitizing them on how to use their toilets and urinary.
The school is well constructed with good toilet facilities and urinary. Unfortunately they are not well managed by the users. Zita went there to throw more light on proper toilet use by simply guiding the children. The visits were carried out towards break in order to have more children to sensitize and also not to disrupt the classes in anyway.

Before this sensitization campaign, about half of the children used to urinate outside since other pupils mess the toilets and make it not usable. But now almost all of them use the toilets because they have been told and even illustrated what to do once there.

Unfortunately there is no adult person assigned to clean – hence the kids do the cleaning by themselves every Friday and within the week as punishment.

The absence of water on campus has led to pupils bringing drinking water from home in plastics and also carrying water from home and preserving to clean the classrooms on Friday. Friday is a general cleaning day hence pupils are assigned to different tasks and duties to keep their campus clean.

“Together let’s give our children a healthy environment for learning”

written by Zee Zita NKIMBENG

Read more about our Ecokids project!

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Official close of the hand washing campaign

Over 2000 school children have participated at the official close of a week long campaign to promote hand washing in schools across Bamenda.

Three Weeks ago COMINSUD in collaboration with the regional delegation of water and Energy for the North West Region launched a sensitization campaign to promote the habit of hand washing in schools.This campaign officially ended on Friday the 14th of October 2016 during the commemoration of global hand washing day with soap in the North West region of Cameroon.

During the campaign period,COMINSUD reached out to 19 schools,approximately 4000 school children and 36 teachers with information on the importance of Hand Washing with soap.The campaign period was also used to assess facilities available in schools to promote the habit of Hand Washing and together with school children develop possible solutions where necessary.

At the end of the handwashing campaign, a global handwashing day event was organised by COMINSUD and the delegation of water and energy for the North West, and celebrated in Government high school Bamendakwe.This event which was presided at by the Regional Delegate of water and energy for the North west region brought together over 200 school children from 5 participating schools from around Bamenda 1,2 and 3 subdivisions.The event was articulated by sketches,poems and quizzes which focused on the theme of the event “make hand washing a habit”

Representatives from the regional delegation of health present at the ceremony,also staged demonstrations of proper hand washing with soap alongside students and pupils from participating schools.At the end of the ceremony,participating schools,winners of the quiz and poetry competition were awarded prizes which will also facilitate the process of hand washing with soap and clean water.

Kick off campaign of hand washing in schools

At least 30.000 persons are expected to benefit from a two week sensitization campaign organised to promote the habit of hand washing.

The campaign which is organised by COMINSUD in collaboration with the Regional delegation of water and energy for the North west-MINEE kicked off today at Government Nursery School Mbingfibeh Mankon, reaching out to 256 pupils and 4 teachers.

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During the sensitization session pupils and teachers were equipped with knowledge on the importance of hand Washing with soap and steps to wash hands properly as an affordable means of preventing diseases.

At the end of the session the pupils participated in practical demonstrations to prove their understanding of the steps for proper hand washing with soap.The pupils where delighted to participate in the exercise and expressed need to have hand washing facilities in their schools to promote the habit of Hand washing.As their own step to promote the habit of hand washing,some of them proposed to bring a bottle of water and soap to school daily while others promised to channel request for hand washing facilities from their parents,through their headteacher.

The Campaign is organised as part of activities to commemorate Global Hand Washing day on the 15th of October 2016,and will be carried out in schools around the Bamenda I,II and III council areas and via social and traditional media.

By Ngobesing Linda

Prize awarding ceremony in Ecokids project

 

The Safe School Environmental Campaign (SSEC) 2015/16, a competition within the Ecokids project, is over. After big efforts in greening their schools, improving on hygiene and sanitation as well as access to potable water and better waste management the evaluation team went round all the 27 schools.

The evaluation took place based on a ranking system that has been developed together with all the stakeholders and participating schools. In each school development of the four areas of the campaign (school greening, waste management, WASH, access to potable water) was assessed e.g number of trees, length of hedges, cleanliness of toilets, availability of hand washing facilities, toilet tissue, drinking water, number of dust bins etc.

Among the 18 participating primary schools these were the prize winners:
1. Presbytarian School Mendankwe
2. Government School Alankie
3. Government School Alamandum

Among the nine secondary schools two prizes were awarded:
1. Government Technical High School Alabukam
2. Baptist High School Mankon

In addition encouragement prizes were given to:

    • Full Gospel High School Nkwen for efforts in providing drinking water
    • Government Technical High School Chomba for good example of tree planting
    • Cameroon Baptist Convention School Musang for good practise in providing drinking water in class rooms
    • Presbytarian School Ntamulung for good practise in hygiene and sanitation
    • Government Primary School Bamenda Group II for good practise in erosion control
    • Government Primary School Nibung for good practise in waste separation

Prizes were given in the form of material, depending on the needs of the school (e.g. cutlasses, buckets, dust bins, spates, hoes) worth 50,000 frs (first prizes), 35,000 frs (2nd prizes), 25,000 frs (3rd prize). The encouragment prizes had a value of 15,000 frs each.

Handing over of prizes

Handing over of prizes

Handing over of prizes

Handing over of prizes

Financial assistance was provided to three schools because of extremely poor toilet facilities (20,000 frs each) and we are keen to see the improvement in the next academic year.

The host of the ceremony was BHS Mankon, that also offered a nice excursion through their premises, especially with regards to the environmentally-related activities.

In the school farm of BHS Mankon

In the school farm of BHS Mankon

Excursion round BHS Mankon

Excursion round BHS Mankon

The SSEC will be repeated in 2016/17 and we hope to have much more schools joining it for the betterness of our educational environment. The Safe School Environmental Campaign (SSEC), a competition within the Ecokids project is over. After big efforts in greening their School, improving on hygiene and sanitation as well as access to potable water

Monitoring of activities under the Safe School Environmental Campaign

Twenty seven schools were visited and P.S. Mendakwe in Bamenda I Sub Division is one. At this point in time the school can be noticed of many environmental improvements and changes.

With assistance of the COMINSUD staff, pupils and teachers planted 27 shady trees and many flowers. The school garden has crops and the school orchard is cleared. The pictures below will show the present situation of the school environment, and toilets being improved.

Tilling and clearing of the school surrounding

Tilling and clearing of the school surrounding

The lone poor dilapidated school toilet kept very clean

The lone poor dilapidated school toilet kept very clean

Pupils planting flowers and trees

Pupils planting flowers and trees

written by Derick Banadzem

Stakeholders promise support for schools in Bamenda

As the Safe School Environmental Campaign (SSEC) is unfolding, some stakeholders have made known the kind of support they will be putting in, by the end of the campaign.

In a discussion with the Regional delegate for environment, protection of nature and sustainable development, Mr. Moma Henry Awah, he pledged environmental friendly trees and seedlings for the sustainability of school environments.

Christabel Neh (COMINSUD) in the meeting with Mr. Moma Henry Awah

Christabel Neh (COMINSUD) in the meeting with Mr. Moma Henry Awah

At the “Regional delegation for Water and Energy”, the newly appointed delegate as at now, is looking at delegating a committed staff to join the campaign’s monitoring and evaluation team.

Meeting in the office of the Regional Delegate for water and energy

Meeting in the office of the Regional Delegate for water and energy

The team will soon start accompanying the 27 schools in carrying out their action plans on their campuses as well as monitoring and evaluation as per a ranking system that has already been drafted.

We wish the schools within the SSEC all the best as they compete in sustaining and making their schools safe for learning.

Safe School Environmental Campaign on the go!

Officially launched by Mr. Fon Nsoh and some stakeholders in the education, environment, water and energy domains, 28 schools in Bamenda I, II and III have unanimously expressed interest in the campaign and have developed environmentally friendly action plans such as school greening, waste management, access to portable water, hygiene and sanitation to be implemented in their schools.

With proper implementation of the above action plans, are we not sure of safer school environments?