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Researcher : Prof. Barbara N. Ngwenya

sanitationThe School Sanitation and Hygiene (SSH) pilot project  focuses one of the most vulnerable sub-population in Botswana, primary schools learners in northwest Botswana in Ngamiland District, where the Okavango Delta is located. The Okavango River water is known to be “exceptionally clean” because it is filtered in the floodplains and marshes (Wolski et al 2005). However, of particular concern is the fact that 53.7% of Ngamiland residents do not have a toilet at all. (Masamba, 2010). Open defecation is not unusual within school environments. The situation is compounded by low number of toilets/number of learners‟ ratios in most primary schools. Consequently poorly managed fecal loads in and outside the schools is a health hazard to individual learners, households and communities and is likely to compromise the integrity of the Delta ecosystem. Water contamination increases the risk of infectious gastro-intestinal diseases to which children are particularly vulnerable. Therefore, provision of appropriate sanitation technologies and promotion of good hygiene practices, will create an environment that is conducive to learning, cannot be overemphasized.

 
The overall objective of the OCT pilot project is to improve the sanitation and hygiene facilities in three primary schools in the Okavango sub-district‟
Specific objectives are to:
 
·         Determine the gaps and deficiencies in the existing sanitation technologies and hygiene practices
·         Determine the impact of OCT on sanitation access and nutrient recycling
·         Improve water supply for hygiene and vegetable production through refurbishing the rainwater harvesting infrastructure
·         Establish the impact of hand washing facilities on hygiene practices
·         Establish the impact of OCT technology on vegetable production in selected schools
·         Evaluate the pilot project for possible replication in other schools and communities in Ngamiland district

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