USAID Water Resources Integration Development Initiative Provides Support for Improved Sanitation

Speeches Shim

Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Members of the School Water Sanitation and Hygiene Club at Kitete Primary School with their teacher, Ashura Haruna.
USAID/Tanzania

Improved sanitation and access to water is critical in the prevention of hygiene-related diseases like diarrhea, urinary tract infections, and cholera. In collaboration with Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children  (MoHCDGEC), Local Government Authorities, schools and communities, the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Water Resources Integration Development Initiative (WARIDI) has implemented district wide sanitation and hygiene activities focused on Behavior Change Communication and monitoring sanitation progress in 14 Local Government Authorities. As of September 2020, a nearly 1.3 million people have gained access to basic sanitation services as a result of this support.

USAID WARIDI compliments the National Sanitation Campaign through the District-wide approach and Community-Led Total Sanitation in Mvomero, Kilosa, Kilombero, Kilolo and Iringa District Councils. Through behavioral change education, communities are sensitized on the importance of improved sanitation at household, institutions and community gathering places which supports an Open Defecation Free environment.

The National Guideline for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Tanzania Schools require that schools must have adequate hygiene facilities such as functioning latrines, hand washing facilities and Menstrual Hygiene Management solutions. Villages that meet such requirements contribute to their becoming Open Defecation Free certified by the MoHCDGEC. School water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities should meet the needs for all users including People Living with Disabilities. When schools have adequate hygiene facilities, and communities are educated on the importance of hygiene and sanitation and are no longer experiencing diseases brought on by fecal contamination, a major obstacle to student attendance and performance is removed.

Complimenting the National Sanitation Campaign and ensuring school communities attain Open Defecation Free certifications, USAID WARIDI supported construction of improved school WASH facilities for 25 schools in the aforementioned 5 districts from Morogoro and Iringa regions. As a result over 14,000 pupils from 24 primary schools and one secondary school are able to use high-quality latrines, hand-washing facilities, and practice healthy sanitation practices in their schools. Pupils and students from the 25 schools have been educated on hygiene and sanitation education through the formulated school WASH clubs. Each school has formed a school WASH club where students discuss and educate other students and their community on safe sanitation and hygiene practices. Also, teachers, school committees and parents or guardians have been made aware of school hygiene and sanitation issues and formulated Operation, Maintenance and Sustainability plans for the school WASH facilities ensuring sustainable use of the facilities.

The 25 schools supported by USAID WARIDI were in poor condition and had an insufficient number of drop holes to cater to the needs of the pupils. These facilities had no Menstrual Hygiene Management facilities, nor facilities for People Living with Disabilities. Furthermore, there were no functional hand washing facilities or water services.

Students and teachers in the 25 supported schools were excited to have new latrines and water services. “With improved school WASH facilities available within our premises, cleanliness is guaranteed. Before this support, over 100 pupils shared one drop hole, they spent a long time waiting hence wasting time for studies” says Badi Pashua, head teacher for Mfulu Primary School in Kilosa District.  “There are no longer queues of students going to the latrines as there were before USAID WARIDI support” says Ashura Haruna, a school WASH club leader at another school.

“We have a clear cleaning roster of the toilets; we want them to be clean all the time. Having running water has helped keep the school environment clean and now we can happily carry-on with our studies without problems compared to the past,” says Hadija Poromoka, a student at Peapea Primary school. All latrine blocks have access to a hand-washing station and water storage facilities.

“Before, we had to use the same toilets as boys and they would sometimes annoy us, or sometimes disturb us by knocking on the poorly fixed door, yelling open the door!” says Zuwena Yussuf, a student at Kitete Primary School recalling the situation before new sanitation facilities were constructed. She explained the discomfort girls felt during the past. “We were not happy, it was not easy sharing toilets with boys, but now, we have our own toilets and boys are not allowed to come in.”

Last updated: December 16, 2020

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