By JULIUS PHIRI –
SCHOOLS Promoting Learning Achievements through Sanitation and Hygiene (SPLASH) has said it is investing US$20 million in sanitation and hygiene to benefit 250,000 pupils in 616 primary schools in Eastern Province.
The project, which is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will be done in a period of five years.
It will be implemented in districts such as Mambwe, Chipata, Chadiza and Lundazi by SPLASH.
SPLASH Zambia chief of party, Justin Lupele said the project was aimed at improving access to safe water, adequate sanitation, hygiene information and health practices to improve learning environments and education performance in primary schools in the province.
Dr Lupele said SPLASH was working in partnership with Family Health International (FHI) 360 and Care International.
SPLASH also commemorated the World Water Day, which was under the theme ‘Water and Energy’.
He said SPLASH could not address the quality of education without tackling basic needs such as water, sanitation and hygiene in schools.
“Good learner performance in schools depends on many factors. One critical but often overlooked factor is whether children’s basic physical needs are being met, in particular their need for adequate safe drinking water and clean, accessible child friendly toilets,” he said.
He said the organisation strongly believed that every child had a right to adequate safe drinking water.
Dr Lupele said SPLASH was currently working with the ministries of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, Local Government and Housing, Health, Community Development, Mother and Child Health as well local communities.
He said SPLASH had donated six motorbikes to the district education board secretaries in Mambwe, Chipata and Lundazi districts.
Eastern Province Minister Malozo Sichone, who was represented by assistant secretary Beenzu Chikuba, commended USAID for the support.