Mgwerambavi is a large primary school in rural Lilongwe in Malawi with more than 1,500 students and 3,300 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 a kilometer to access water at a nearby stream, which was contaminated with micro bacteria and animal feces. Latrines were in poor condition, and many students had to defecate in the open bush, or in facilities that were extremely unsanitary. Many students 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 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 extreme increase in enrollment since the implementation of this project with 900 new students registering (from1,500 to 2,401 students). Because of this increase, there is need for additional latrines and urinals.
Quote from Head Teacher, Chrissie Banda:
“I want to thank Freshwater Project and their partners for giving us a water supply. We had nothing. Now we have a borehole here. They also gave us toilets and urinals for our learners. The community is also assisted with this project and they use the borehole behind our school block. We want to thank them because they have done a good job to us.”