Our schools-based Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project Fit for School is a two-year project (2018 – 2020) in collaboration with our new partner Childreach Tanzania and funded by Trusts and Foundations. It aims to directly support 1,590 children and 24 teachers in 3 primary schools in two Councils of the Kilimanjaro region, northern Tanzania, with the overall objective of improving WASH conditions at the project schools and at home. The project also incorporates learning about menstrual hygiene into primary education and school facilities, given that primary school age is up to 15 years-of-age in Tanzania. This will help improve adolescence girls’ attendance and ensure they have appropriate knowledge and understanding to be able to look after their own health. The third objective of this project is to renovate WASH facilities across the three schools, including improving and repairing the toilet facilities, in addition to installing hand washing facilities and establishing WASH clubs to disseminate learning. Read more about our Fit for School project here
WASH facilities in Tanzanian schools are extremely poor. In 2013, a UNICEF study concluded that 84% of schools in Tanzania do not have hand washing facilities, 46% lack access to safe drinking water, 52% do not have adequate sanitation and hygiene facilities for girls and 96% of schools do not have WASH facilities suitable for disabled children. A lack of WASH facilities makes children vulnerable to illnesses such as diarrhoea, worms and urinary tract infections, which has a knock-on effect on their education.
Girls reaching puberty are less likely to regularly attend school due to lack of WASH facilities. Many schools have toilets which are poorly maintained, have no doors or they are broken, they lack basic hygiene and provide no privacy. Research shows a direct link between good access to WASH facilities and retention, performance and attendance at school. Improving WASH facilities tackles poor health amongst children and consequently lowers absenteeism, both of which are vital to improving the safety and education of Tanzanian children. Improving sanitation and privacy levels in schools is key to ensuring that girls do not feel humiliated or unsafe once they begin menstruating. Such simple, basic solutions can have a wide-ranging and long lasting impact on education and a child’s future.
Improvement in school toilets