Sauzana is a medium-sized primary school in rural Lilongwe in Malawi with more than 500 students and 1,783 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 300 meters from the school to access water in open ponds with extremely dirty and contaminated water. Latrines were in extremely poor condition, with no doors for privacy and were extremely unhygienic. 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 (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 208 new students registering (from 508 to 716 students). The school has also added a garden and fruit tree orchard, which can now be accessed for school feeding programs and sold as an income generator for the school.
Quote from Head Teacher, Willard Phinifolo:
“I am sincerely thanking Freshwater Project for the help which they are giving us. First, they have assisted us with a new borehole. Before the introduction of the borehole, learners were walking long distances to access unprotected water sources. This caused diarrheal disease, which resulted in the frequent absences of students. This is not only helping the learners, but the surrounding community as well. There are a number of villages surrounding our school and community members were traveling long distances searching for water. But now, there is clean water at this school. The water is also helping us to water the orchard and fruit trees that we have added. We are also thanking Freshwater for the help of these toilets. We had a shortage of toilets to pupils and these new latrines have improved the attendance of learners at this school.”