We have kicked off our WASH (WAter, Sanitation and Hygiene) project in Mambwe District with a major upgrade of facilities for Mphata School. We are currently in the process of constructing four new toilets, hand washing stations and a borehole in addition to also providing hygiene education to the school's 495 pupils.
Anyone who follows the Raise a Smile Facebook page will have already seen pictures of the borehole, which was completed last month. Until now, the school had been using a well, which was found to be contaminated with faecal bacteria. To prevent the school children from regularly falling ill, we have completed a professionally drilled borehole with handpump.
The water now comes from more than 30m below the ground surface and has drinking water quality. The construction of a concrete surround with drainage for the excess water will prevent contamination, and is the first step to ensure that the Mphata School pupils do not miss school through illness!
The next step is to improve the school's sanitation facilities. The current toilets are in a state of disrepair and are insufficient for the 495 pupils. In cooperation with our new partner ODFL, we will build four new toilets (two for boys and two for girls). The design of the new toilets will take disability and gender into consideration, and will help to keep the sanitary facilities clean and hygienic.
The final step is to tackle the issue of handwashing. The school currently has no facilities for handwashing after using the toilet, meaning the pupils spread dangerous germs everywhere they go. We will construct stable handwashing facilities for boys and girls and will provide hygiene education to teachers and pupils. By educating pupils about the transmission routes of diarrheal diseases and how they can be prevented, we hope to have a significant impact on the number of missed school days.
Many thanks to ODFL and the other donors who make it possible for us to provide clean water and sanitation for the children at Mphata School!
For more pictures of the new borehole at Mphata School, visit the Raise a Smile Facebook page.