Safe learning environments remain a priority for partners collaborating under the Safe Back to School (SB2S) campaign, launched under the Lusaka Water Security Initiative`s Green Schools Partnership Proramme in reaction to the Covid-19 outbreak. Partners now hosted the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) advisor for the GIZ-implemented programme “Fit for Schools”, Ms Anna Kristina Kanathiogoda, in Lusaka. The event took place on the 10th of August 2022 at Chakunkula Combined School, one of the 180 schools in Lusaka that has so far benefitted from WASH interventions under the SB2S Campaign.
The campaign targets schools with large enrolment numbers, special needs, challenges with water access and availability, as well as with providing adequate sanitation. It supports sensitization programmes for teachers, learners and the surrounding communities on proper WASH practices, as well as the installation of jumbo handwashing stations for many pupils to wash their hands simultaneously. Given the campaign`s success, the Fit for Schools visit to Zambia was aimed at getting a deeper understanding of the various WASH interventions under the campaign`s previous phases.
Safe Back to School Partners include Lusaka City Council (LCC), Lusaka District Education Board (DEBS), WaterAid Zambia and the Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI) supported by NatuReS.
Partners highlighted the strong collaboration and coordination between different organizations under the campaign, ensuring effective delivery of the project interventions. This has positively impacted the schools; creating a clean and green environment for leaners while building trust with the communities. This improved pupils` school attendance and strengthened the relationship between schools and communities.
Fit for schools supports ministries of education to sustainably improve water, sanitation and hygiene in schools. They are extending their reach to Zambia through the SB2S Campaign and will support the fourth phase of the campaign through the NatuReS Zambia programme.
Author: Sonile Mutafya, NatuReS Advisor Zambia