Priscilla Achakpa recieves AMCOW Innovation Award (trophy and certificate) on behalf of DevTrain CEDI received


DevTrain CEDI’s initiative to use EcoBricks to construct Eco-Toilets in schools has being considered among the FINALISTS for the AMCOW AfricaSan5 Awards 2019, in the category of INNOVATION AWARD.

The official award event ceremony which was announced during the Fifth Africa Regional Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene (AfricaSan5) in Cape Town, South Africa, took place on Tuesday February 19, 2019. see

The Eco-Toilet Project under the Girl Advancement Programme (GAP) is an initiative of DevTrain that seeks to address the limitations surrounding the adolescent girl child by delivering learning/knowledge transfer plus awareness on Menstrual Hygiene Management, safe water & Hygiene promotion as well as Environmental and Climate Change activities for the total advancement of the adolescent girl child

The programme establishes GAPClubs in schools were training sessions on MHM are facilitated with adolescent girls. Through GAP, we encourage enrolment of vulnerable out of school girls through environmental protection and climate action activities like collection of plastic bottles for recycling, up-cycling and exchange for environmentally friendly items like provision of basic education materials.

In a bid to address the challenge of inadequate knowledge of MHM, DevTrain commissioned a survey on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in Achusa community: Challenges and Opportunities aimed at understanding how to target adolescent girls through the Girl Advancement Programme (GAP) and integrate MHM in schools, the findings revealed that 90% of adolescent girls lack information on MHM before their first menstruation, 2 of the 11 adolescent girls still uses cloth/cotton wool as absorbents during menstruation, the school does not have toilet facility/materials for menstrual hygiene giving rise to open defecation around nearby bushes close to the school. The girls still dispose their used menstrual absorbent in refuse/waste disposal bin or burn it at home. Many teachers confirmed there are no clubs but opportunities to integrate MHM facilitation and a broken down borehole in LEA Primary School, Achusa which has led to unhygienic practice by the pupils.

As part of measures in trying to address the open defecation challenge in the school, the DevTrain team initiated a girl-centered toilet construction project for pupils in the school using plastic bottles (EcoBricks).

This initiative was designed to further provide a learning outcome for the pupils as the plastic bottles collected by the school children will be up-cycled. This ongoing innovative concept is the first of its kind in Benue State, our Girls Advancement Programme plans to scale up interventions in more communities and IDP camps in order to end open defecation and present a potential of creating both learning and income generation activities for community members as we meet SDG goal 4, 6, 13 and 15.