Water, Sanitation & Hygiene…HopeCore’s School Based WASH programs
It is lunch time and the children line up to wash their dishes, their hands and refill their drinking cups. There are quiet giggles of joy and the children patiently wait their turn at the water tank. These children are in 3rd grade, and they were fortunate to have not witnessed a time when the availability of water was scarce before HopeCore provided tanks to their school. We are outlining our WASH Program below so that other programs can find helpful information on how to implement similar programs in their own communities.
“2.5 billion people in the world (approximately one in three of the world’s total population) do not have access to adequate sanitation, and 748 million people (approximately one in ten of the world’s population) do not have access to safe water. About 500,000 children die annually from diarrhea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation. In Sub-Saharan Africa specifically, diarrhea is the most common killer of children under five years old. Diarrheal diseases, for instance, deteriorate students health conditions and have resulted in the annual loss of 272 million days for school attendance globally.
From a survey conducted in Chogoria of 1,055 individual of all ages, it was found that only 62% of households boil their water for drinking. HopeCore’s WASH program was initiated in response to the urgent need for clean water and proper hand hygiene that HopeCore staff witnessed in schools during school mobile health clinics, a need manifested by the amount of diarrheal and other water-related diseases.
HopeCore’s WASH program made East African history, by installing clean drinking water and hand washing tanks in each of the schools in the entire Maara Sub-County. HopeCore has now installed tanks in over 200 schools in the Sub-County. As confirmed by the Sub-County Education Officer, no other Sub-County in the country has provided clean drinking water and hand-washing stations to every school.
This program, concentrating on clean water and hand hygiene, contributes to preventing common intestinal illnesses, as outlined in our 14 child health survival and maternal well-being technologies description (see the blog on 14 Child Survival Technologies) description. Furthermore, when pupils are healthy they are more likely to be in school. HopeCore employs a community health worker (CHW), to monitor each of the tanks installed in the schools. The CHW visits each school every other month to ensure the proper use of WaterGuard, the sodium hypochlorite product that HopeCore provides schools with to treat their water, as well as, the presence of soap for hand washing. Additionally, the CHW assesses whether or not students are using the clean drinking water and hand washing tanks correctly and remains in close contact with all school head teachers as a resource point for any WASH-related question or need that may arise. After the tanks are inspected, the CHW meets with the Head Teach or Deputy Head Teacher to delivery his findings and give appropriate advice. For all seriously non-compliant schools, the CHW arranges to a follow-up visit with the teacher, which is typically conducted at the end of each week”
~Anne Gildea & Dr. Rasori, HopeCore White Paper, 2016
To learn more about Village HopeCore International and their programs please visit: Villagehopecore.org