Updated - Thursday 02 August 2012
Four key achievements have come out of the SWASH+ project:
- Funding – Research findings from SWASH+ supported the necessity of increased school WASH funding. Kenya’s Ministry of Education decision to double funding for school WASH (US$ 840,000/year) with potentially more to come may mean the difference between whether or not a school is able to purchase consumables such as soap, WaterGuard for treating water, and latrine cleaning supplies – thus affecting student wellbeing and attendance.
- Adoption of WASH curriculum and materials – SWASH+ revealed a need for WASH education throughout Kenya’s 18,000 primary schools. Lessons in school will help educate and promote hygienic behavior change, proper water treatment, and consistent facility upkeep. Teachers & students can become agents of change in their community as students bring WASH lessons into their households.
- SWASH sustainability charter – A key advocacy achievement for SWASH+ was the public agreement between both the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation (MoPHS), and the Ministry of Education (MoE) to develop a school WASH sustainability charter. This charter signals commitment to school WASH and support of a sector-wide approach. The sustainability charter provides commonly agreed upon guidance, strengthens communication and offers a clear benchmark for sustainability.
- Menstrual hygiene – Research and attention are rarely focused on the menstrual hygiene of young women, but the SWASH+ research team invested in hearing young women’s experiences and needs. Girls in rural Kenya expressed confusion, shame, discomfort and ridicule during their period, which often led to school absence. Most families in rural Kenya struggle to purchase even the most basic essentials and schools are unable to supply fundamental sanitary supplies, such as toilet paper or soap. Toiletries are simply a luxury. US$ 3.4 million was allocated for sanitary pads for school girls this year, based on SWASH+ research findings. Set to begin in May 2012, the Kenyan government’s allocation of money for sanitary pads is estimated to reach 500,000 girls in grades 7 and 8.