Community WASH Program
In addition to GPFD’s response to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) needs at schools, we also work with local leaders to develop effective and sustainable WASH solutions on a community-level. Although COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of WASH, these interventions are proven to improve community health and are a basic human right even in the absence of a global pandemic.
We understand that families also need safe toilets at home. When we implement latrine projects at schools and in communities, we also train local artisans in improved latrine design and techniques. This is especially important in areas with soil that is prone to collapse, which calls for SanPlat latrines to be used. As a result, our partner communities now possess the knowledge to construct SanPlat latrines to improve the safety and sustainability of latrines on a household basis.
WASH in East Africa
Focus on Girls and Women
Clean water projects impact entire communities, but girls and women are disproportionally impacted by a lack of access to clean water. Females, and school-aged girls in particular, are primarily responsible for water collection. A study in Tanzania reported that reducing the distance to a water source from 30 to 15 minutes increased girls’ school attendance rates by 12 percent.
Obalwanda Water Project (Kenya)
Obalwanda Primary School is located in the Suba North Constituency along the coast of Lake Victoria. The school had no source of clean water on its campus when Global Partners first visited. Water was collected from a small pond about a mile from the school or donkey carts were hired to transport water to the school. The community had a borehole well, but demand is very high. Women and children spent hours in line waiting to collect water. After meeting with school and local leaders, we realized that we needed to bring water not only to the primary school, but to a special needs school, the local dispensary (small health clinic), and to an additional community kiosk as well.
Working with the community to ensure that the solution was locally-relevant, we built off the existing borehole, adding pipes and distribution lines as well as a solar-powered pump. Local people are key to the success of this project, and a community water committee will ensure that the project is sustained into the future.