School hygiene and sanitation project
AMREF has put into action the Personal Hygiene and Sanitation Education (PHASE) program in rural Kenyan communities where hygiene and sanitation conditions are often poor, resulting in the spread of dysentery, diarrhea, and cholera.
PHASE is also being implemented in the urban ‘slum’ settlement of Kibera, in Nairobi. Living conditions are particularly poor because the government does not take responsibility for the slum. There are not any basic water, sanitation, education or health services. Disease spreads quickly in these overcrowded conditions. Children often suffer poor health because of inadequate nutrition and lack of access to clean water and sanitation.
Main objectives of the project
With support from GlaxoSmithKline , AMREF works with local communities to implement PHASE, promoting good hygiene, sanitation, and water practices. In particular, AMREF works with primary school children, who are seen as an effective way to educate their peers, families, and communities.
The project has reached 74,000 children (plus their siblings, parents, and teachers) in 247 rural primary schools across Kenya, and aims to reach a further 10,000 urban school children in Kibera. It is improving their health and hygiene practices, and providing better sanitation facilities. This includes:
- Hygiene and sanitation training for pupils, teachers, parents, and government officials
- Support for schools and communities to improve and provide hygiene and sanitation facilities such as latrines, water tanks, hand-washing facilities, and ‘leaky tins’ (perforated tins containing water for washing hands)
- Producing hygiene and sanitation learning materials for use in schools
- Developing a handbook to replicate PHASE activities in all schools
Students have improved their hygiene practices, reducing disease and absence from school, and improving academic performance. Over a two-year period we have seen the following improvements:
- Households with latrines rose from 69.8% to 84.6%
- Schools using leaky tins increased from 15.4% to 58.5%
- Students sharing a school latrine fell from 87 to 77 pupils
- Schools using safe water sources rose from 57% to 67%
- Usage of refuse pits in schools increased from 89.5% to 96.9%
The Ministry of Education has now incorporated PHASE into the national school curriculum and has rolled out the PHASE model in all schools in Kenya (excluding Kibera). It is also being replicated by AMREF in Uganda and through other partners in Zambia, Nicaragua, Peru, Bolivia, Mexico, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Tajikistan.
Download the PHASE Project Brochure
Read about PHASE in Uganda
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