Chenab Development Foundation has been awarded Schools WASH project by UNICEF. Under this project, CDF will provide missing WASH facilities in the selected schools including construction of latrines, provision of hand washing facility, raising awareness regarding hygiene promotion among students and parents.
n the pilot phase of the project, CDF will provide these facilities in three girls’ schools in Union Council Deh of Tehsil and District Rahim Yar Khan. Following the request of community, WASH Officer, UNICEF Punjab visited the schools and identified the bad sanitary conditions in schools. After discussion with communities, HUD & PHED and district government it has been planned to provide child friendly and gender sensitive sanitation and hygiene facilities, as per standards.
The statistics on education facilities in District Rahim Yar Khan depict a severe lack of facilities in the government schools including missing teachers, missing or broken boundary walls, broken or deteriorated infrastructure in the classrooms, absence or lack of washroom facilities for students and absence of safe drinking water facilities. Although the literacy ratio in the District has increased from 20.0 percent in 1981 to 33.1 percent in 1998, the government education facilities are still lacking in provision of good quality educational environment for students. Although development in educational facilities is being carried out in the schools, WASH is one of the areas where a significant amount of needs remain unaddressed. In the targeted schools, absence or lack of latrines and hand washing facilities poses serious health problems for students. This situation could also lead to increased spread of water borne diseases and epidemics. Therefore, CDF believes it is crucial to respond to the students’ needs related to WASH in the schools and provision of WASH facilities needs to be prioritized in order to effectively address health and hygiene problems
Having received the funding for small scale project, CDF carried out a need assessment study in the targeted schools and villages. This study was aimed at verifying the need for proposed interventions and investigates any additional factors which could help CDF in smooth and effective implementation of the project.
Hand washing using soaps is one of the most important hygiene lessons that students need to learn to be able to prevent illnesses. Keeping the vitality of the issue in view, CDF carried out its awareness raising component of WASH project being implemented in schools of District Rahim Yar Khan in collaboration with UNICEF.
Personal hygiene is the practice of grooming oneself to be clean. Personal hygiene helps prevent diseases and decreases spread of diseases as well. It is also a social courtesy to be attentive to one's personal hygiene. Personal hygiene is important at all times. The start of menstruation is a momentous event in a girl's life. A menstrual cycle lasts from the first day of one period to the first day of the next. The typical cycle of an adult female is 28 days, although some are as short as 22 days and others are as long as 45. Periods usually last about 5 days. On average, most girls start their periods when they're 12 or 13 years old (although some begin earlier or later). But if you wait until your daughter gets her period to talk to her about menstruation, that's too late. Achievement: A total of 200 students and more than 30 parents and teachers participated in these MHM sessions. Targeted Schools: Government Girls Elementary School, Manzoor Abad, Rahim Yar Khan Government Girls High School, Chak 118/P, Rahim Yar Khan .
Chenab Development Foundation (CDF) facilitates the formation of WASH clubs in schools in which 10-12 students and two teachers included. WASH Club is the first activity of WASH Project in which 12 students representing all classes in the schools and 2 teachers of the school were selected to form the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Club. These Wash Club members are trained regarding health and hygiene and responsibilities are assigned with mutual consent to keep themselves and their environment neat and clean. Every week, a group of 3 children among 12 are selected to fulfil the assigned responsibilities.
Formation of WASH clubs will help in timely roll out of SLTS activities later and synchronize with activities in the village. WASH clubs also institutionalize Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) activities in schools. It is therefore important to select schools with more focus on adolescent girls. Every WASH club will develop a calendar of planned ‘In-school’ and ‘Out of-School’ events. WASH club learns and institutionalize its purpose i.e. mobilize people in community, where the children of this school go, for constructing latrines, achieving ODF status, maintaining ODF status and moving towards total sanitation. WASH club will ensure availability of soap and MHM material to create an ideal environment. All this happens as students are the agent of change and can guide community in triggering SLTS and CLTS campaign. After first few months of institutionalizing WASH clubs, children and teachers would develop a calendar of events they plan to conduct out of-school.