Fit For School approach at primary schools in Tanzania - current focus on group handwashing facilities

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Re: Fit For School approach at primary schools in Tanzania - current focus on group handwashing facilities

A government-controlled foundation distributed soaps to few primary schools in Sindh, sometime back. The move was appreciated by the educationalists. This dramatically improved the children hygiene in those schools.

The practice was discontinued, probably, due to the lack of funds.

F H Mughal
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  • hajo
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Re: Fit For School approach at primary schools in Tanzania - current focus on group handwashing facilities

Dear Elisabeth, dear all,

GoT is supposed to provide all government schools with a so called ‘capitation grant’ for every child, which money is meant for the running of the school including learning means, security, water, school feeding, … This money always comes/came late and never sufficient. Thus parents were asked to contribute to cover the shortcoming which now has been disallowed, GoT tries to make free education a reality.

With regard to F4S this affects provision of water and soap. Our 10 pilot schools all have water supply either as piped water supply from the utility (8)or by water well with handpump (2). But the piped water has to be paid for and if GoT does not provide enough funds and parents are disallowed to contribute, this will cause problems. Which may be resolved by the school not paying the bills and the utility not disconnecting the school at ‘special request’ by some higher authority.

And soap has never been provided on large scale for group hand-washing and has not a high priority when exercise books and school feeding are lacking. At the start of the project we anticipated that the soap would be funded by the school out of the mixed contributions of capitation grant and parents’ contribution. Now we (Childreach/GIZ) are impressing on the local government authority (LGA) who is in charge of the schools to include soap in their annual budget. We will see whether it will work, at least they have promised to look into it. For the start of the pilot GIZ has financed the soap.

About Childreach you can read from their website (www.childreachtz.org/ ) which had been quoted in my first posting to this thread. And they are not financing anything but are rather financed by GIZ to implement this project. And as part of their job they try to influence that F4S does not suffer from the increased financial shortages at the school and promote in the LGAs a higher ownership of and commitment for F4S.

I hope this answers your questions,
Ciao Hajo
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Re: Fit For School approach at primary schools in Tanzania - current focus on group handwashing facilities

Dear Hajo,

thanks for this update.

You said that:

the new Government has ruled that Government schools are no more permitted to ask parents for financial contributions. While GoT is now trying to find funds and channels to get enough money to the schools to keep them going, it has affected all sorts of school activites including F4S, which requires water, soap and attention.


(F4S = Fit for School)

What is the reason behind this government decision? So before that, you had asked the children to bring in wate and soap from home and now that is no longer possible, is that right? It's not a financial contribution though? How about parents having to buy school uniforms or books, is that now also scrapped?

And you mentioned:

Nevertheless our NGO, Childreach has made efforts to keep F4S going and we even intend to extend the project at least until July 2016.


What NGO is this? How large is it and how is it funded? It seems a bit sad that an NGO had to step in, rather than government bodies (or GIZ) supporting this.

But your results sound very impressive! Perhaps you could post the full report here?

Regards,
Elisabeth
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Re: Fit For School approach at primary schools in Tanzania - current focus on group handwashing facilities

hi all,

you have not heard for a while from Fit For School in Moshi which can partially be attributed to the festive season when schools were closed for a month and also to the new Government which has ruled that Government schools are no more permitted to ask parents for financial contributions. While GoT is now trying to find funds and channels to get enough money to the schools to keep them going, it has affected all sorts of school activites including F4S, which requires water, soap and attention.

Nevertheless our NGO, Childreach has made efforts to keep F4S going and we even intend to extend the project at least until July 2016. During that period the progress at the each 10 schools in Moshi and Dar es Salaam shall be monitored, F4S should be more anchored in national SWASH policy and as a perk F4S may be expanded to each 6 more schools in Moshi and Dar, respectively.

From the progress report of Childreach for February 2016, I copy the following observations:

Generally in all the meetings, stakeholders are happy and positive about the project despite the few challenges. Some of the challenges that they mentioned include:
- Lack of funds to repair of the handwashing facilities since parents are no longer contributing due to the stop order from the government
- Filling up the buckets and washing them is hard because pupils are not tall enough to do so.
- Most of the bucket covers are broken because of the sun
- Lack of incinerators to burn the used pads.

Some challenges were specific for individual schools for instance lack of safe drinking water (Mangisabasi) as they use water from the well and it has not been tested to be safe or not. Also Majengo mentioned of the project increasing water bills while Mandela and JK Nyerere said the project has led to reduction of bills.

Basically, the project proved to have brought more benefits than challenges. Some of the success include:
- Improved health to pupils. Mrupanga, Mangisabasi, James Ole Millya, Benjamin Mkapa, Ronga, Kilimanjaro, Nelson Mandela mentioned of decreased rates of pupils going to the hospitals due to stomach diseases.
- Decreased truancy was also mentioned by many schools.
- Benjamin Mkapa, Ronga and Mrupanga mentioned of high school enrolment to the point that they had to refuse some. However we have not been able to trace the percentage of decreased stomach diseases, decreased truancy or increased enrolment.
- Publicity is also one of the success as almost all schools confessed to get many visitors and parents wanting to learn about the project to the point that some find it overwhelming, eg Mrupanga termed it as a challenge. Ronga mentioned to have a lot of visitors from neighbouring villages because they appeared in the 2016 calendar produced by a sugar company (TPC) hence lots of people come to the school to learn about the project. J.K Nyerere had a group of visitors from UK who took photos and promised to replicate it back home.


I hope, that gives you a bit of insight into developments of F4S in Tanzania,
ciao Hajo
We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
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Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of a genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.
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Re: Fit For School approach at primary schools in Tanzania - current focus on group handwashing facilities

Dear Alex,

Thanks for your posting and your interest in our work in Tanzania.

As indicated in my previous postings, our focus is on hand-washing with soap. This may eventually be extended to face-washing to tackle trachoma which is endemic in Tanzania and can easily be connected to hand-washing. De-worming we could also include as there are sometimes national health programmes on this issue.

Tooth-brushing especially with fluoride toothpaste is not high on the agenda also because groundwater in Tanzania and especially in the western Kilimanjaro region has a too high fluoride content and people actually suffer from diseases caused by too high fluoride: tooth decay and crippling skeletal fluorosis.

And anyway: our focus must be on making hand-washing with soap sustainable, ensuring that the approach becomes anchored in national SWASH policy, that local governments budget for appropriate supply of water and soap and that school committees and teachers take ownership of the responsibility for the daily hand-washing routine.

Good luck in Vientiane,
Ciao Hajo
We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
Albert Einstein
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of a genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.
E.F. Schumacher
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. :-)
Albert Einstein

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Re: Fit For School approach at primary schools in Tanzania - current focus on group handwashing facilities

Dear Hajo,

greetings from Vientiane! I recently started working here in the Regional Fit For School Programme and am delighted to read about what is going on in Tanzania with regards to the approach. I really appreciate the regular updated you provide on the progress!

I'd be interested to know what the plan is for tackling oral hygiene. Will that be the third step after focusing on handwashing and de-worming? Or as was suggested above, is the problem of tooth decay and caries only a minor one in Tanzania?

Keep up the great work!

Alex

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Re: Fit For School Approach (F4S) - 10 primary schools in Moshi, Tanzania

Dear all,

I quote from the December monthly report by Childreach reporting on F4S in Moshi:

• Conducted Monitoring Monthly meeting to seven school with head teachers and health teachers to discuss on the success and challenges of the project:
o In all schools pupils and teachers are happy about the project and the handwashing exercise is now practised regularly. In all schools group handwashing activity is carried out at least twice a day (after assembly in the morning and before lunch)
o SWASH club members are responsible in cleaning the facilities, fill the buckets with water, make sure soap is available and report to the responsible teachers on any damage on the facility or absence of soap
o In Mandela and J.K Nyerere primary schools, it was observed that water bills have reduced ever since the pupils started washing hands at the core modules because the outlets in the core modules allow the passage of small amount of water.
o The main challenge is that some pupils open the tap which allows the 11 outlets instead of just one even if there is only one pupil or two washing their hands and some pupils let the water run while performing the rest of handwashing steps, hence water is wasted unnecessarily. Also teachers mentioned on the difficulty in washing the facilities because the buckets are fixed on the stand.

• More awareness is therefore needed for proper handwashing while minimizing water usage (emphasis by me!)
• Conducted meetings with Head teachers, School Management Committee members and fundis at all project schools to discuss and agree on procedures of rehabilitation of toilet facilities.
• Issued money to the ten project schools for rehabilitation of toilet facilities based on the summited quotations. Rehabilitation has already commenced at all schools.


Besides the ongoing monitoring of the implemented schools in Moshi, we are preparing the second phase of F4S which may comprise:

• Ensure the sustainability of the group hand-washing exercise at the 20 schools already implemented;
• Expand the project to some more schools;
• Ensure national support by ministries having F4S anchored in national SWASH policy;
• Ensure support by local government through budgeting for SWASH activities;
• Half-annual de-worming;
• Follow-up promoting face washing under F4S to tackle trachoma which is endemic in some parts of Tanzania;
• Develop national F4S manuals representing the local context.

ciao Hajo
We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
Albert Einstein
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of a genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.
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Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. :-)
Albert Einstein

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Re: Fit For School Approach (F4S) - 10 primary schools in Moshi, Tanzania

Dear all,

Some additional observations which cropped up while monitoring our Hand-Wash Facilities (HWF) in action:

1 I forgot to insert a fitting which allows replacing the valves without having to cut and re-thread the pipes. We have already changed this on the HWF which have not yet been installed in Dar es Salaam. A union and a nipple at the valves will be included in future production.

2 The little ones (Grade 1 and 2) at primary schools have been observed adopting the HWF most:
- they insist that the HWF in front of their classroom is theirs and nobody else is allowed to use it!
- they remind SWASH club members when the bucket is empty to (please) refill it!
- they remind others (older ones) to wash their hands!
Which proves again how important it is to start such ‘training’ as early as possible in a child’s development.

Although the title of this thread only relates to Moshi, you are aware that the same programme also runs in Temeke, Dar es Salaam. Please find enclosed a newspaper article on the official launching of the programme there.

Ciao Hajo 
We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
Albert Einstein
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of a genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.
E.F. Schumacher
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. :-)
Albert Einstein

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Re: Fit For School Approach (F4S) - 10 primary schools in Moshi, Tanzania

Dear Elisabeth,
Dear all,

… I know I am late reporting on progress…

By now we have installed 94 Nos. HWF and flower beds at 10 schools, the pupils have painted them and put them into use.

Regarding the theft: it was an isolated incident at one school and the school management was so embarrassed by the case, that they took measures to recover all costs from the security guards who somehow had been involved in the theft. All material and labour for the replacement was paid within shortest time by the school. I was positively surprised by their efforts. And we have not observed any other case of theft or vandalism on the installed HWF.

The HWF seem to be very much appreciated by the schools and they record on a monitoring sheet that the group hand-washing is performed at least twice a day, mostly in the morning after assembly and just before lunch. Also the use of soap is recorded.

One important aspect we noticed: the pupils (and teachers) have to be taught about water saving measures. We observed on some schools that when a number of pupils want to wash hands at the same time (after play-time, after toilet, …) they open the group washing tap and let all 11 openings run while only using 4 or 5 of them, often even they do not even close the tap while soaping. This leads to waste of water with the flower beds being flooded and even overflowing. We only wait for someone to blame the flowerbeds not being appropriate while it is actually a user problem.

Regarding the sanitation facilities: during the baseline study we checked the toilets and existing hand-wash facilities (if any) and the NGO received some funds to rehabilitate this infrastructure and bring it to a functional state. We did not build any new toilets, say to achieve national coverage rates (25 girls/ 20 boys per drophole).

At this point I want to remind you that we also support F4S in Dar es Salaam through NGO SAWA / GIZ and in Njombe through UNICEF. I hope some of my colleagues from those places may also find time to report on their achievements.

Ciao Hajo
We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
Albert Einstein
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of a genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.
E.F. Schumacher
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. :-)
Albert Einstein
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  • F H Mughal
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Re: Fit For School Approach (F4S) - 10 primary schools in Moshi, Tanzania

Theft of fittings in rural schools and even in government offices here is not uncommon. Once, I went to the toilet in a important government building, only to find nothing was there - no taps, no wash basin, no pipes, and not even bulbs and electrical switches - all stolen!

F H Mughal
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Re: Fit For School Approach (F4S) - 10 primary schools in Moshi, Tanzania

Dear Hajo,

Thanks a lot for keeping us updated about this very interesting project! I really appreciate that you're posting these regular updates - your posts are very interesting! Thanks for also including the nice photos in your last post. Please do keep us posted how things evolve over the coming months.

I noticed in one post you said:

Unfortunately a number of fittings got stolen already at one school before installation

Was that an isolated incidence or is theft (and possibly vandalism and neglect) an issue that you're continually grappling with?

What state are the school toilets in, by the way, in those schools where you're installing the group handwashing facilities?

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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Re: Fit For School Approach (F4S) - 10 primary schools in Moshi, Tanzania

Fit For School officially launched at Global Hand-Washing Day 2015

F4S in Moshi was officially launched at Nelson Mandela Primary School in Moshi Municipality. 13 group hand-washing facilities have been installed at the school, one in front of each class room. The school has about 1,000 pupils.

The school made tremendous effort to prepare for the event. From all the other nine schools under the project in town, representatives were invited, teachers, the SWASH club representatives. The public stakeholders from Moshi Municipality and District were represented as well as the two NGOs, Childreach and SAWA, from Moshi and Dar es Salaam, respectively. And also the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training send a representative from the national level as the guest of honour.

After the guest of honour had cut the ribbon and thus officially launched the project, performances by all the schools promoting hand-washing with soap under this year’s GHD motto “Raise a Hand for Hygiene!” entertained the guests with songs, dances and acts. Also the speeches by the different representatives emphasised the importance of hand-washing with soap at critical times.

Then finally the children were allowed to show off what they had learned about the seven steps of proper hand-washing. All the group hand-washing facilities were occupied and within short time all the buckets had run dry. It will be a challenge for the teachers to train the children in the understanding of water saving behaviour. 150 to 200 ml of water (a small drinking glass!) is sufficient to wash one’s hands, maybe not out of a glass but with these hand-washing facilities which release only a small stream of water.

While the official guests were then treated by the school with a generous lunch, the children in their official GHD T-shirts boarded their busses under laughing and singing. It has been an entertaining and successful day.


On Global Hand-Washing Day (15.10.2015) the Fit For School Project in Moshi was officially launched




Speeches, performances and interviews marked the day



With the ribbon cut by the representative from the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, the children performed their first group hand-washing activity


|||||||||| ... washing with soap ... ||||||||||||||| ... rinsing soap off ... ||||||||||| ... wetting the hands …



… drying by 'Raising a Hand for Hygiene'
We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
Albert Einstein
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of a genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.
E.F. Schumacher
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. :-)
Albert Einstein
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