The community of Kware in Sokoto, Nigeria, used to fetch water from a river located far from their establishment. The water was dirty, and children would often have stomach aches because of it. Kware is also a community impacted by water scarcity issues. In their attempt to provide out-of-school children with quality education via a radio listening center located at the local school in Kware, ACE Charity observed that the lack of available WASH facilities for the students posed a barrier to their learning.
In order to drink water or use toilet facilities, the students would have to abandon their lessons to walk back home, while those living further away would not return to continue their learning. This is no longer the case.
WASH project improves learning opportunities
With support from the Grundfos Foundation’s Community Engagement Grant, ACE Charity initiated a WASH development project, consisting of 8 toilet facilities and a borehole supplying the school with clean, potable water. The students also received hygiene lessons and personal and menstrual hygiene kits. They now have a better understanding of hygiene and can recognize the importance of handwashing.
“Through the hygiene lessons, I have learnt the importance of washing my hands. Before, I didn’t wash my hands before eating. I have learnt that hand washing is very important because I can transfer germs to the food, which will make me sick. We also now have water here, in the school, so it has become easier to wash my hands when I need to”, says the 16-year-old Sumayya, a student at the listening center. “Now that I have learnt, I will make sure I wash my hands before and after eating”, she adds.
13-year-old Bilal is also happy with the new facilities:
“Before, we did not have any toilets in the school. During our lessons, we had to go to the bush or to our houses to relieve ourselves. But now we have a new toilet, with the ability to flush. There is even a place for us to wash our hands. I really love it”.
Thanks to this project, the students can now practice safe hygiene practices, learn uninterrupted and stay healthy. The children and those living around the school also benefit from improved water access and sanitation.
Global Handwashing Day
Celebrated every October 15, Global Handwashing Day is an annual global advocacy day dedicated to promoting handwashing with soap as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. Currently, 3 out of 10 people worldwide lack access to basic hygiene services. Global Handwashing Day provides a platform to take action and increase access and practice of handwashing with soap to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation for All.
This year’s theme is “Unite for Universal Hand Hygiene.” Joint action and collaboration are essential for successful and sustainable hand hygiene strategies. It calls upon governments, donors, businesses, institutions, researchers, and advocates to unite in action to achieve the goal of hand hygiene for all.
To learn more about what is needed to improve the situation, read about strategies, sustainable financing and implementation at scale at WaterAid, one of the partners behind Global Handwashing Day.