Zambia, like many other countries, has been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and has taken measures to mitigate the risks of the virus. In education, schools were closed to curb the spread of the virus but were reopened after two months.
In Zambia and its capital Lusaka in particular, the number of COVID-19 cases has been steadily increasing. This poses a threat to the lives of both pupils and teachers. In response, the local municipality, Lusaka City Council (LCC), launched the “Safe Back to School Campaign” on 21 September 2020.
The campaign aims to support a safe reopening of all schools in Lusaka by taking action to contain the spread of COVID-19 in schools. By ensuring that students wear face masks and practice good personal hygiene, especially washing their hands with soap and water and regular use of hand sanitisers, both teachers and learners are protected. This will also help to protect surrounding communities.
Forty-two schools in Lusaka were selected. During the launch, schools were given facemasks, hand sanitisers and handwashing stations. The availability, provision and access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services in schools are an essential defence against COVID-19.
The Safe Back to School Campaign is part of the Green Schools Partnership Program (GSPP) led by LCC and implemented under the Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI) of that NatuReS Zambia is a partner.