Water and Sanitation

WaterAid Malawi awards four schools with water tokens for promoting hygiene, menstrual health among learners

WaterAid Malawi – a nonprofit making organization advocating for access to safe and clean drinking water for all – has awarded four primary schools for promoting menstrual health, general sanitation and hygiene among learners.

The four schools, which include M’buka, Chipala, Mlodza and Kabwabwa, which fall under the Mbvunguti Zone in Lilongwe Urban, were competing for the award, which WaterAid Malawi introduced with an aim of motivating them to improve Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) conditions.

The project also introduced essential facilities such as water sources, toilets, and washrooms in addition to K30, 000 to K34, 000 monthly allocations to cater for water expenses.

As the project winds up, WaterAid Malawi decided to award the schools with water tokens ranging from K300, 000 to K600, 000.

In the competition, M’buka Full Primary School emerged the winner and went away with a K600, 000 water token.

Soko (in red t-shirt) presenting a dummy cheque to teachers and learners at M’buka Full Priamry School–Photo by Watipaso Mzungu

Speaking when she handed over the water tokens at a brief function that took place at M’buka Full Primary School, the organization’s Hygiene Behaviour Change Specialist, Maria Soko, said they were impressed with the strides the education institutions have made in improving the WASH sector.

“WaterAid decided to intervene in these schools after witnessing their exceptionally high enrollments coupled with the absence of water and inadequate sanitation facilities. Specifically, girls were facing challenges with absenteeism during menstruation. This prompted the intervention and support for these schools. The primary goals were to alleviate restroom congestion due to disproportionate ratios and to eradicate absenteeism among menstruating girls,” said Soko.

Primary Education Advisor (PEA) for Mbvunguti Zone, Chrissy Chimphamba Bondo, commended the organization complementing government efforts to create a conducive environment for teaching and learning.

Bondo disclosed that the project has contributed significantly towards inculcating the culture of adhering to hygiene practices, such as regular cleaning of classrooms and common areas, to prevent the spread of germs and illnesses.

One of the learners, Esther Chunga, said through the project, girls have been equipped with knowledge on how they can manage their menstrual health while at school.

Esther said this has, in turn, helped in reducing cases of absconding classes when they are in their menstrual periods.

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