SCALEAfrica commits to surveying, assessing and improving sanitation and water infrastructure at all twenty-eight community schools in Mambwe District, Eastern Province, Zambia. The commitment aims to demolish or rehabilitate existing girls' sanitation blocks and construct new sanitation facilities that are designed to reflect the physical and emotional needs of adolescent girls in rural areas. Where necessary, water infrastructure will be repaired or constructed. Programs on hygiene and Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM), as well as community engagement to encourage MHM program adoption, will be implemented at each community school, with the aim to reach every community school student and household in the District.
SCALEAfrica will be directly responsible for the design and construction of the sanitation blocks, as well as the abatement of unsafe, abandoned pit latrines on community school grounds. Leveraging resources in the community, SCALEAfrica will also coordinate partner construction projects and administer educational programming on MHM and basic hygiene.
The Bushcamp Company will be responsible for the funding and construction of all boreholes, water storage tanks, and irrigation systems to feed community gardens.
May 2016 - Sept 2016: Pilot WiSH Project at Vinza Community School
June - Sept 2016: Geographical and Infrastructure Assessment of 28 Community Schools
June - Sept 2016: Community Engagement and Committee Development
July 2016 - Ongoing: Fundraising via Private Donors, Foundation Grants
August- Sept 2016: Operational Plan and Budget Development
Sept 19, 2016: Official Commitment Launch at 2016 CGI Annual Meeting
Sept 2016 - May 2017: Phase 1 Implementation at 8 community schools
May 2017 - Dec 2017: Phase 2 Implementation at 10 community schools
Jan 2018 - Dec 2018: Phase 3 Implementation at 10 community schools
Sept 2016 - Sept 2019: Monitoring & Evaluation
In Zambia, the lack of safe, healthy sanitation facilities and clean water sources are a major prohibiting factor in girls attending and completing primary school. Typical existing sanitation infrastructure is not girl-centric and does not allow for the privacy, safety, or personal hygiene necessary for girls to feel supported in their school environment. Furthermore, girls disproportionately bear the burden of carting water that is often contaminated many kilometers, causing them to miss school, and putting them at greater risk for sexual assault. This water is frequently the source of diarrheal disease that further prohibits their educational advancement. Couple these factors with the social stigma of menstruation and frequent harassment near school toilets and clear indicators emerge as to why girls frequently leave school upon reaching puberty.
Approximately 8,700 Zambians, including 6,600 children under 5, die each year from diarrheal disease related to poor quality water and sanitation. UNICEF reported in 2010 that WASH in schools significantly reduces hygiene-related disease, increases student attendance and learning achievement (UNICEF, 2010).
According to the March 2016 UN Women report "Towards Gender Equality Through Sanitation Access," hygiene education for both boys and girls, as well as access to clean water and safe/dignified toilets on school grounds have been found to reduce overall absenteeism and will play a key role in reaching Sustainable Development Goal 5, which addresses gender equality. Further, a June 2016 report by USAID on SPLASH in Zambia's Eastern Province showed that improved sanitation facilities have a greater impact than school feeding programs on reducing absenteeism.
SCALEAfrica is seeking partner organizations with expertise in water and MHM, research and M&E, as well as in-kind donations of building materials and financial support.
SCALEAfrica, through its design arm, SCALEStudio, is offering services in design and construction, the administration of educational spaces, sustainable housing and safe sanitation, as well as consulting services for sustainable building technologies, rural development studies, and master planning for public, private and non-profit institutions.