ATD is proud to announce a new 3 year partnership with the charity 'Just a Drop' to install water solutions to a poorly sanitised Zambian school, Mulwazi Basic School. This partnership is set to enhance the local economy by providing a healthier learning environment, with clean and safe drinking water easily accessible to Mulwazi.

Mulwazi Basic School is a government run school located in the poverty stricken region of Zambia, Kaloma District. Like anywhere in the world the school is essential to its community and surrounding settlements. Mulwazi Basic School currently operates from a single 1 x 3 classroom block, with another block of the same size currently nearing completion. Mulwazi is a relatively large school in terms of subscription, teaching four hundred children and has just eight teaching staff. The school is located approximately thirty kilometres from the nearest tarred road and sixty kilometres from the nearest town. Mulwazi faces a severe water supply problem which is causing the school’s struggle to retain the attendance of its children and the employment of its staff.

Many regions of this part of the world struggle to maintain healthy and long term water supplies. Only 35-45% of the Zambian population residing in the urban fringes and rural centres of the country have access to safe drinking water. In addition to this, only 10% of the rural population have adequate sanitary facilities. The growth in population and the results of an ongoing economic recession in the country demands greater efforts to bring about a better sanitisation system.

Just a Drop joins forces with ATD to aid ill water facilities in a Zambian school

Just a Drop is a registered charity whose mission is to reduce the rate of child mortality by providing accessible and safe water to some of the poorest parts of the developing world, raising funds to install boreholes, hand pumps and teaching sanitation and health programmes. Community involvement is the focal point of all projects undertaken by Just a Drop. By working with schools and communities to identify needs, the organisation is in a unique position to help communities achieve their goals and improve the local level of education.

After conducting an in depth needs assessment on Mulwazi, Just a Drop concluded that the insufficient water supply is the core of the school’s struggle and its most urgent requirement. Just a Drop frequently works alongside travel organisations worldwide to support their endeavours and has proposed a partnership with ATD. The joint venture of  Just a Drop and ATD will help relieve the severely poverty stricken region Kaloma District by providing water supply solutions to Mulwazi Basic School.

Schools are unable to provide safe water supplies and sanitised facilities

Many of the schools in the Kaloma District are situated in remote locations and face numerous problems encouraging teacher and pupil attendance and retention. A year ago Mulwazi Basic School’s only water supply was a community borehole which was situated over a kilometre away from the school. As if a school in attendance of four hundred children sharing one borehole with the local community wasn’t a great enough inconvenience as it was, the borehole dried up over one year ago, leaving the school in an even greater state of desperation than that of before. Mulwazi’s closest water supply is now five kilometres away from the school grounds.

It is considerably difficult to retain the children’s attendance in the first instance, without the problems caused by water facilities or lack thereof, as families rely on their children to contribute to their family’s income and daily activities. The hindrance of the distant boreholes deters children from attending and those in attendance run the risk of falling ill due to bad sanitation levels. The water conditions inevitably effect the recruitment and retention of teachers, which in turn has a negative impact on the level of education pupils are given. Under the Zambian employment law government schools are required to provide housing facilities for their teachers, however schools without easy access to water have difficulty competing with those that can offer healthier and better sanitised accommodation facilities.

The future of Zambian communities relies on water installations

Mulwazi Basic School has managed to bid successfully for government funding to continue the construction of new classrooms and improve the state of teacher’s housing. Nevertheless, despite Mulwazi’s status as a government run school, the school still battles to gain access to the resources and facilities needed to provide the quality education required for its pupils. Teachers and the local community have pulled together to secure funding for ongoing projects, however the funds arrive intermittently and are insufficient for the launch of any major improvements.

Mulwazi is still in urgent need of aid and Just a Drop is confident that assisting with the installation of a hand pump and a borehole will prove significantly beneficial for both teachers and pupils. To execute this project Just a Drop has established working relationships with a local representative and a reputable drilling company that has previously drilled successful boreholes for other schools in the Kaloma District. The partnership with ATD will ensure that the new water facilities will be utilised efficiently and be well looked after. Communities in Zambia place a high value on having access to safe water facilities, so supporting Mulwazi Basic School with the provision of safe drinking water can make way for long lasting, and ultimately fundamental developments.

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