Schools benefit from clean water supply and education
A group of teenage boys in green shirts, girls in skirts with tassels that look and feel like soft skin. Some pink, others cream, all in cardboard hats as they enter their classroom singing at the top of their voices to a room full of guests. They are performing a dance that requires dexterity and grace. The song is about their gratitude to their access to clean water. Their school, Mutxuquete Primary School is one of a few in Chibuto, Gaza province, with clean running water. UNICEF supported the installation of a water supply system there. Agostinho Fernando Machalela, an 11-year-old Grade 6 student, whose mother and father work as teachers in Macia district and Maputo province respectively, flashes a big smile. He no longer has to go without water for hours. Until recently a river was the only source of water for his family and the school. Not only was it dangerous for children to cross a busy road to fetch water, it was also unhygienic.
"Life was difficult because we didn't have clean water. We use to suffer from stomach pains sometimes," says Agostinho.
This is a joyous day for 11-year-old Helena Mário Mutumane and it warrants a celebration but even though it is tinged with sadness. She starts her speech with confidence but breaks down half way through and weeps for her mother who passed away and a father who is too sick to look after her and her sister. Helena's faded blue school shirt and short dark blue skirt show the want of a mother's care. At home, an hour away from school, she teaches the family how to use water wisely.
"My family now knows the principles of using water sparingly and the importance of good hygiene. It is good to have all this water because we are now able to clean the toilet" - 11-year-old Helena Mário Mutuman.
"My family now knows the principles of using water sparingly and the importance of good hygiene. It is good to have all this water because we are now able to clean the toilet," says Helena.
School Director, Muxuquete Bucula Guiana, says having clean water is beginning to bear fruit. Before they use to battle a number of water borne diseases like diarrhea and bilharzia but those are almost gone, malaria is the only problem. With this gift comes responsibility.
"We have taught students to use water responsibly, they are learning everything from how it is collected in rivers, treated and how it makes its way to the taps. This is now incorporated in our lessons," she says.
"We have taught students to use water responsibly, they are learning everything from how it is collected in rivers, treated and how it makes its way to the taps. This is now incorporated in our lessons."
- Muxuquete Bucula Guiana
The installation of clean water in the school has benefitted the surrounding community. Five families are directly connected to the system but at least 200 families from the nearby village also collect water from standpipes connected to the same system.
The School Council's President, Mário Mondlane, who had also joined in the day's celebration says that people's approach to hygiene had changed.
"The only thing that is still a struggle is to teach people how to use the equipment, some are still learning how to use taps but they have embraced good hygiene principles," says Mário.
Mutxuquete Primary School is successfully imparting hygiene skills, which Agostinho seems to be incorporating in his daily life.
"The school has taught us to cut our nails, brush our teeth, wash our hands and boil water if it is not clean or put chlorine in it. We also have to wash our hands with ashes if there's no soap, especially when coming from the toilet," says Agostinho.
The School Deputy Director, Narcisio Ricardo Conjo, says that having water has gone beyond just drinking it and learning good hygiene; the school now has a small vegetable garden, which is looked after by the children.
"Thanks to UNICEF support we now have the capacity to give the children a small garden. There is a borehole where the water is pumped into the system and it is helping us to grow some vegetables, teach the children about farming, something we could not have done without access to water," says Narcisio.
Having a garden also seems to mean a lot to Helena, who is now coming to life, telling of what she has learned so far.
"Having a school garden is wonderful because I now know how to grow maize, water the garden and plant other seeds, I know everything," she smiles.
"Thanks to UNICEF support we now have the capacity to give the children a small garden. There is a borehole where the water is pumped into the system and it is helping us to grow some vegetables, teach the children about farming, something we could not have done without access to water" - - Narcisio Ricardo Conjo.
- Water and sanitation monitoring system (SINAS) expanded with UNICEF support
- 110 810 students provided with water from 2012 to 2015, in Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Zambézia, Tete, Manica, Sofala and Gaza
- 30 910 students in Tete and Zambezia provinces used a hand pump to access clean water for first time at 79 water points
- Nearly 96 per cent of the 285 000 new users (from 2012 to 2015) provided with access to clean water in rural Mozambique
- Supported new government Five Year Plan, which aims to provide improved water supply to 90% of the urban population and 75% of the rural population by 2020
- Supported National Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme and (PRONASAR) Common Fund (CF) partners on planning, reporting and monitoring
- 80 sanitation facility blocks constructed in 28 schools, benefiting 15 641 students (total 98 671 between 2012 and 2015)
- 56 970 students equipped with basic hygiene education (total 306 112, between 2012 and 2015)
- European Union
- Netherlands Government
- Football for WASH
- UK National Committee