Fun with Water and New Toilets
22 Mar 2019
Minarti (left) and Chen Ly Chan (right) are happy with the wash basin and new toilet at their school.
Sungai Betung 01 Junior High School (SMPN 01) in Bengkayang District, West Kalimantan, has had a new sanitation facility since November 2018. "We are grateful for the support from Wahana Visi, now we have toilets and wash basins. There used to be two toilet rooms, but both of them were damaged. It had been repaired, but then broken again. The toilets need to rebuild,” Susanto, the Principal of SMPN 01, started the conversation.
Susanto, who has been a principal since 2013, said that at that time the condition of the two toilets was terrible. He thought that even though it was renovated, there was a lack of supervision in early development and maintenance as well. The students were not supposed to use damaged toilets. At last, the school received assistance from Wahana Visi Indonesia (WVI) through donations from the congregation of the Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) Pondok Indah, Jakarta. Two toilets were built in October 2018.
According to Susanto and also the students, the new toilets are insufficient, considering there are in total 430 students in this school, from grades 7 to 9.
"We have a commitment to build another toilet next school year. This time we need support, a participation of the parents," Susanto explained.
Chen Ly Cha (15) is pleased with the facility. "After having new toilets, my friends don't go to the river anymore. Some of them still do that, mostly boys,” she said with a smile. Her friend, Minarti (15), laughed and continued, "They don’t want to get in line because … you know girls usually take more time in the toilet."
The new toilets are near the river, so it's easy to get clean water.
In addition to the new toilets, SMPN 01 Sungai Betung has also six wash basins. "A pail or basin was available in each classroom so that the students could wash their hands, but they rarely did that," said Susanto. Now they regularly wash their hands. "Although in the beginning, the children were playing water in the wash basin,” he added.
Luckily, they do not have any problem to access clean water. The school’s location is near the river. Water from the Regional Water Company (PDAM) also flows smoothly after this sanitation facility is ready to use.
Ending the conversation, Susanto told, "The teachers are also grateful since now the children are able to use a toilet and wash basin properly."
Written by: Regina Veronica Edijono, Editor, Wahana Visi Indonesia