Session FT 3.08
Scaling up water, sanitation and hygiene education for schools
Centre for Community Health Research (CCHR) India
Scaling up Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Education in schools was a joint session conducted by CCHR India and UNICEF. Experiences on school water, sanitation and hygiene education from different geographical areas especially Africa and Asia were presented. Partnerships and commitments for scaling up water, sanitation and hygiene education in schools were highlighted during the session. Scaling up school water, sanitation and hygiene education with quality requires careful and consistent management of the processes of change.
WASH in schools continues to be a major problem in many countries contributing to high disease prevalence, poor learning environments and impacting on girls’ education. Children should be seen as agents of change for WASH within their schools, communities and homes. While the need for effective policies and strategies and a solid planning, monitoring and evaluation framework were also highlighted during the session.
Lessons learned and key messages
- Involve children as agents of change
- Plan for scaling up from the beginning
- Ensure that policies and strategy are in place
- Co-ordinate hardware and software components
- Partnerships at all levels are important
- Capacity building is required
- Need to document successes
- Focus and target communication
- Increase investments needed in the sector
- Don’t forget about girls and women in the process.
Orientations for action
The time to act is now – focussed investment is needed in the sector so that scaling up with quality can take place. The knowledge and experience exists and we can make adjustments along the way.
Involve Children as agents of change and not just beneficiaries. Targeting children benefits schools, families and communities and the can actively participate in social change movements.
Coordination alone is not enough, there is a need for cooperation and the establishment of effective partnerships for school water, sanitation and hygiene education.
Political commitment, policies, strategies and planning frameworks are a prerequisite for scaling up school water, sanitation and hygiene education
Local Actions presented
WASH campaign in Madagascar
Ms. Dina Rakotoharifetra, APO UNICEF Madagascar
The WASH Campaign in Madagascar demonstrated how programme strategies and messages for hygiene improvements can and should be harmonised among all partners at national and sub-national levels. Targets in line with the Millennium Development Goals and PRSP especially for WASH in Schools have been integrated in a WASH strategy adopted in Madagascar in February 2003 by all partners. The presentation highlighted the need for establishing such systems and frameworks to harmonise approaches to school WASH and demonstrated how this had been achieved in Madagascar. We cannot assume that initiatives will be taken to scale, we have to plan for scaling up from the beginning by ensuring that policies and systems are in place that will to all levels. The importance of good data was also highlighted during this presentation and in addition to a good planning framework a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation framework is also needed.
Sanitation for a rural girls school in Uganda
Ms. Elke Mullegger, ECOSAN Club, Austria
Sanitation for a rural girls school in Uganda described the improvement of the sanitation situation of a rural girls school, through the implementation of an ecological sanitation project. It described how participatory planning is key for the successful implementation of an ecological sanitation project in schools. ECOSAN is not just about technology but there is a real need to focus on the software components and demand creation while acknowledging the socio-cultural barriers which may exist. It is one option which has the potential for replication and scaling up as evidenced in other areas of Uganda.
WASH program in Kerala, India
Dr. Roy Kunjappy, Executive Director CCHR, India
WASH in schools in Kerala, State India described how a social movement can really impact of the lives of children. The WASH campaign in Kerela focused on schools by improving the health environment of the schools and improving the quality of learning for future generations. The presentation demonstrated how a social movement can really make a difference when everyone is involved and that by uniting efforts a greater overall impact can be achieved. Children can also play a major role as agents of change within their schools, homes and communities while they also have the capacity to reach other children who don’t attend school.
WASH in MGM School, Kollam, India
Ms. Rintu Elza Roy, Grade 8 Student, India
WASH in MGM School, Kollam, India was a personal story presented by a thirteen-year-old girl describing her involvement in the school WASH movement. It demonstrated the importance of the role of children in social movements for WASH as she described the activities she and fellow students in her school have undertaken and introduced the audience to the IEC materials which were developed as part of the WASH campaign and how they are used by the movement and within the schools
The role of women in water development in Africa
Ms. Rosemary Mbone Enie, WICO Africa
This presentation questioned whether or not we are really committed to alleviating the workload of women in societies through comprehensive gender mainstreaming in the water and sanitation sector. We need to consider the workloads of women and the “cost” of water at all levels. The presenter described how different methods and approaches can be used at community level to raise gender awareness and analyse the roles of men and women in relation to water and sanitation.