Did you know that more than half of the children in rural Zambia lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation?
Dirty water and poor sanitation facilities lead to illnesses such as worm infections and cholera, which are especially dangerous for young children. Water borne diseases are also one of the main causes of school absenteeism.
If we want to make sure that school pupils stay healthy and achieve a high standard of education, then it is vital that we tackle the problem of water and sanitation in schools!
In order to address this issue, Raise a Smile is starting a new WASH (Water Sanitation and Hygiene) project with schools in Mambwe District.
Our solution to the problem is based around two key steps. The first step is to improve the current infrastructure at schools. This will include the construction of hygienic toilets, boreholes for clean drinking water, handwashing facilities and washrooms for girls. Many girls stay at home for a week every month during their period. These new washrooms will provide girls with enough privacy and the ability to remain comfortable during their period so they don't have to miss school.
The second step is to increase knowledge and awareness about important hygiene issues such as hand washing and menstrual health. We will work with schools to develop WASH clubs, which will give pupils the opportunity to attend regular hygiene promotion activities. The programme will also include the training of a school WASH representative, who can carry on the activities and reinforce learning in the future.
During the implementation of the project we will work in close partnership with the Ministry of Education and the respective schools, as in our previous projects.
New water and sanitation facilities combined with a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of key hygiene topics will result in healthier, happier pupils attending school more regularly.
With your help we can take clean water and hygienic toilets to schools in rural Zambia. Support us in this important work, so that we can enable children to learn in a safe environment. Click here to make a donation or contact us to become a partner of our School WASH Project.
¹ WHO/UNICEF - JMP for Water Supply and Sanitation (2015).
² UNDP - Human Development Report. Beyond scarcity: Power, poverty and the global water crisis (2006).