Children in primary school are particularly vulnerable to a lack of water. Their young age makes them more vulnerable to water-borne illnesses such as malaria, cholera, diarrhoea and intestinal worms. Also, they are often tasked with fetching water for the family- a responsibility which often takes priority over their education, especially for girls.
Adolescent girls are also affected by the lack of privacy of standard latrines. Not surprisingly then, more than 50% of girls who drop out of school in Sub-Saharan Africa cite a lack of adequate facilities as the main cause.
Karatu district itself faces significant water challenges due to its remoteness, seasonal rains and lack of resources. Most schools are without appropriate facilities causing a number of challenges: high levels of water-borne illness, poor attendance, low classroom participation, high drop-out rates, and difficulties in retaining teachers. Bringing clean water and improved hygiene facilities to schools addresses these issues and gives students a chance for a healthy bright future!
What is Rainwater Harvesting?
Rainwater harvesting is an age old sustainable local method for creating access to reliable and safe water. Karatu’s low water table makes deep wells prohibitively expensive. Instead, large 30,000 litre concrete water tanks are built next to school buildings and collect seasonal rains for use all year around.
Rainwater harvesting is just one component of a CPAR project. Improved latrines, hand washing stands and an extensive hygiene education program for students, teachers and community members complete the work.
‘VIP’ ventilated improved latrines provide girls with privacy which increases their attendance as well as reducing the spread of disease by flies. The hand wash stations become the focal point for improving hygiene habits and reducing the spread of disease and illness. The local community plays an important role in each project. Community members provide local supplies and labour while a Water Committee made up of students, teachers and parents is developed to maintain the tanks into the future.
Start Your Own Campaign
Start Your Own Campaign:
$2500: Bring clean water and hygiene facilities to an entire class of about 50 students
$600: Fund all four hand washing and drinking stands
When you support the clean water and improved hygiene project, you’ll make a real difference. We know that student illnesses decline and attendance and grades especially among girls go up. We’ve also learned that we can use the brown water to nourish school gardens which provide nutritious fruits and vegetables for student lunches and further improves student health.
A single clean water and improved hygiene project will benefit about 400 students and teachers at one primary school.