Sunday, 27 April 2008

Inside one of the brick rooms. Furniture is stacked in the middle to allow the floor to be cleaned. The door is open but the wooden rain shutters are closed. If the door was closed as well, for example against rain, you can see how the place becomes too dark for work. Even whitewash on the walls would help, and ideally if the walls were plastered and then painted you would have the ideal situation. But this is the relly when money is desperately short and everyone has to cut corners.
This is a new mud-brick classroom with a tin roof, but it still suffers from all the problems of durability and lack of light. It's not the answer to Shoywe's needs

Here's a close-up of the replacement rooms in brick. You can see the ventilation holes above the windows. But why, oh why, have they only put windows on one side? The room is still dark and gloomy inside, even on a day of brilliant sunshine!

This is part of the block of brick classrooms built to replace the mudbrick ones which collapsed last year. In true Rwandan style they salvaged most of the roof tiles from the old building; you'll notice the've only neede to buy a small patch of new tiles! There's by far the best rooms in the school - but they lost five and could only afford to replace four. Some one class is always being taught outside at the moment. The children migrate around the schol buildings during the day, trying to find a patch of shade. Since the only shade is the sahows of the other existing buildings, it means the class is ranged in a long thin line right outside the windows of another room, with all their noise and distraction. Not exactly a brilliant teaching environment.

This is a close-up to show you details of the wall construction. The mud bricks are crumbling away, and it seems as though the only thing supporting the enormous weight of the tiled roof is the thin skin of plaster on the outside of the wall. What happens to this room, and the children inside it, when we have the next earthquake?

This is a block of 6 toilets. During a hot day you can smell them from twenty paces, and a stream of effluent runs out of the doors and away down the hill. (I took this photo during the Easter holidays when the toilets weren't in use). There are 14 loos for 2103 pupils, and no separate loos for the 30 staff. The ratio of people per toilet is well over 150:1.


At least there is water next to the toilets

There are serious cracks in the walls, and if you knock on them with your fist you can hear a void behind the skin of plaster. One classroom block at this school collapsed last year. What's holding up the roof in the building? And how sfe is it for the 300+ children crammed into the rooms inside it?

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