School WASH Program
To improve the learning environment in public and community schools through provision of potable water, adequate sanitation and hygiene practices.
Schools provide a controlled environment in which positive norms and behaviors in respect to WASH can be inculcated in to the learners with life time benefits. Promotion of universal hand washing with water and soap among children is possible because their poor hygiene habits are less established. They are within the age where lifelong behaviour is established as a cornerstone for the future.
A study of developing countries found that over half of the schools were built without water and sanitation facilities. When water, toilets and handwashing are not available at a school, children spend time collecting water instead of in the classroom. Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in Schools affects privacy and dignity, school attendance, student health, learning outcomes and gender equity
The concepts of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) initiatives are based on good hygiene practice, access to improved water supply and improved sanitation, which are essential to reduce environmental health risks for population’s well-being at the global level.
Recently the Covid -19 pandemic has elevated the importance of WASH globally; as hand washing is a key component of guidance to reduce transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. Current evidence indicates that the COVID-19 virus is transmitted through respiratory droplets or contact. Contact transmission occurs when contaminated hands touch the mucosa of the mouth, nose, or eyes; the virus can also be transferred from one surface to another by contaminated hands, which facilitates indirect contact transmission. Consequently, hand hygiene is extremely important to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. It also interrupts transmission of other viruses and bacteria causing common colds, flu and pneumonia, thus reducing the general burden of disease.
Mtalii Education Program has been extensively involved in supporting students in gaining access to uninterrupted education. However unfriendly school environments with inadequate WASH facilities have been a major impediment to this course. The burden of disease has had negative impacts on school attendance.
In working to address this disparities Mtalii Education Program has embarked on a school health program as an effective means of “leveling the playing field” for all children, with particularly notable benefits for the most vulnerable and poorest children.
In identifying the neediest institutions, Mtalii Education Program carried out an assessment of schools in Kiambu County. The assessment involved physical visits to schools, interviewed school principals, teachers, students, parents and government officials from the Education and Health Ministry’s. The assessment apart from just identifying the need also went further to identified challenges, bottle necks encountered by schools in regards to water and sanitation. As Mtalii Education Program affirms the importance of multi-sectoral collaboration, particularly between education, health and education sectors and the full engagement of the community and pupil awareness
Our Vision is to have a society that values all children, and their right to be included regardless of their individual differences, needs, and abilities.