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IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre



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1 point

I lost something in my previous intervention. In fact, I said that I appreciated the intervention of our colleague Atayong who stated that ''Going by policy in Cameroon will definitely take a long time and may even end on papers''. The rest of my arguments is without change. I simply reiterate that when made dispassionately and objectively the analysis of the situation, we realize that much was not done, while opportunities are present. Need to build on the existing. This construction must be driven by the Government which must take the lead and coordinate all interventions. WINS interventions are part of a dynamic set for a school safe and appealing. The capacities of the Government partners need to be developed accordingly.

1 point

Thanks for all these ideas and experiences shared on Cameroon. I have much appreciated this sentence put forward by our colleague: >.

Indeed, Cameroon has developed lot of strategy documents: “Vision 2035” Strategy, was used to elaborate the national Growth and EmploymentStrategy (DCSE). The DCSE is result-oriented and focuses on growth and job creation. It describes the situation of women and girls in Cameroun, in terms of human development (including education), and also places special emphasis on the promotion of women and the youth. But, one of the key issues in Cameroon is the lack of reliable data, which makes it difficult to obtain gender disaggregated data to better identify and understand gender issues. Such data are also necessary for planning and monitoring. Disaggregated data are published periodically by the National Institute of Statistics on the occasion of the International Women’s Day.

It is clear that Projects that mainstream gender should systematically have a set of gender-sensitive quantitative and qualitative indicators in the logical framework. These indicators should be measured against baseline data to be identified at the appraisal stage of the project, which would allow for better monitoring and evaluation of the project gender related components and their impact. Many education projects support by donors address gender issues through generic activities such as the construction of separate latrines and classrooms equipment. However, for girls and boys who belong to the most disadvantaged groups these all-purpose measures may not have a positive impact on their school attendance. For this particular group, a study may be necessary to assess their situation in order to better address their specific needs.

1 point

Considering WASH in general, we have in Cameroon shameful statistics and facts: 1) Proportion of households having access to latrines (mainly traditional) is 73.8% (90.4% in urban areas and 66.5% in rural settings); 2) The North and the Far-North Provinces of the country are particularly dry. It is very common for people and flock to use the same watering hole. 3) Proportion (country-wide) of children of less than 5 years having a significant in-take of fluid during diarrhoea episodes is 23%. This is due to frequent shortages of water and lack of education on the management of diarrhoea.

Now, considering WINS, Most of the schools located in villages and suburban areas have no hygiene facilities (water points and latrines). In the North Province, 70% of schools with latrines have no water to clean the latrines, and only 40% of schools have access to potable water. Girls have to walk kilometres in search of water, thus forsaking school activities for domestic chores.

While some improvements have been noticed since 2004, in regard to the allocations of the State’s budget (22.68% to the Education sector as a whole – Preschool to tertiary), considerable efforts still need to be made to improve school infrastructure and hygiene facilities, especially in the UNICEF supported schools located in villages and rural areas of the East Province, the three northern Provinces (Far-North, North, and Adamawa) of the Great North, and those located in the suburban areas of Douala and Yaounde. The case is more critical in the above-mentioned 3 Northern Provinces where school children, especially girls, have to forsake classes to return to the family to use home latrines because the school has no separate latrines for girls. In addition to their regular domestic chores, girls in the rural areas of the Great North, before going to school also have to walk kilometres each day in search of water. Many children arrive late at school, tired and thirsty, and yet cannot hydrate themselves for lack of drinkable water in the school compound.

So. It is clear that we have failed. Let us recognise it and plan to do something. So this is what I propose as a remedial plan: 1) For hygiene promotion It must be recognized and highlighted that the provision of physical accommodations alone would not meet the aim of improved health, hygiene and environmental sanitation. It should not be expected that once the latrine is constructed, it would automatically be used. We need to put emphasis on sensitisation, on promotion sessions on the use, in addition to topical issues on hygiene and sanitation. This will help pupils and the community at large to build their capacities towards hygiene. 2) Strengthen Classroom Instruction on Health, Hygiene and Sanitation by including these themes transversally in the teaching of other subjects. To this end, school teachers and inspectors and other supervisors will be trained. Also, materials and communication tools would be developed for the programme. Alternatively, existing materials will be adapted, taking into account local specific situation. 3) Ensuring a Healthy School Environment will include, improving deficiencies in school environment and maintaining hygienic conditions notably as regards cleanliness, disposal of liquid and solid wastes, provision of clean water, and planting of trees and flowers. Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) latrine would be the technology of choice for latrine construction since this model is what is being encouraged for institutional latrine systems in Cameroon. The effective Involvement of Pupils and Communities will be a crucial point: Pupils Governments and school health clubs will be involved as well as community WASH facilities’ management committees

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