Chokolo is a large primary school in rural Lilongwe in Malawi with more than 900 students and 2,100 community members. Freshwater Project International, in partnership with Procter & Gamble and H2O for Life, implemented a comprehensive Water, Sanitation and Hygiene program at the school.
Before: The school had NO water point and students had to walk about 500 meters from the school to access water in open ponds with contaminated water or at an unprotected well with very little water supply which had to be shared with the community. Latrines were in extremely poor condition, with no doors for privacy. Many students chose to defecate in the open bush and would have to miss school due to water-borne diseases contracted from drinking unsafe water and utilizing unsafe sanitation facilities.
After: Freshwater Project International drilled a new borehole well utilizing a large drilling rig, which drilled down to the water table. Pipes were installed and a hand pump was added, and now students have access to fresh, clean water close to their classrooms. Two blocks of deep pit latrines (1 for boys and 1 for girls) with 4 compartments each school (16 rooms total) were dug and constructed. All of the latrines have doors that lock, offering students privacy. Additionally, two blocks of urinals (1 for boys and 1 for girls) were also constructed. In the girls’ latrines, a special menstrual hygiene station was included to offer girls a private, hygienic place to wash and manage issues related to menses. Hand washing stations were added near the latrine block as well as close to the classrooms. Students were also provided with a supply of Procter & Gamble Purifier of Water packets as well as training to purify water in their homes.
Results: With the attraction of the new water source and sanitation facilities, the school has seen an increase in enrollment since the implementation of this project with 204 new students registering (from 906 to 1110 students).
Quote from Head Teacher, Silas Agripa:
“I’d like to thank Freshwater International and all of its donors and partners. These people have assisted us a lot. For example, here at Chokolo Primary School, we had no permanent, safe toilets. But from here onward, we are happier to have these things. Previously, students were suffering from diarrheal diseases and now we have a borehole. This was a work of unity because we have done it together.”