World Vision Solomon Islands and its partners launched the Upscaling Wash in School Project for Guadalcanal Schools today at Guadalcanal Province Head Quarter in Honiara.
The Deputy Premier of Guadalcanal Province Hon. Lazarus Rina, officially launched the project.
The project that will work with 33 schools in the province is a New Zealand Government funded project facilitated by UNICEF and implemented by World Vision Solomon Islands and Live and Learn.
The launch programme today higlighted the need to introduce such programme at schools as many schools in the country lack access to proper wash facilities and water.
"The WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for the Solomon Islands estimates that 17% of the schools nationally have access to basic services for drinking water, and in rural areas, that decreases to 14%. This leaves about 87% of rural schools with limited drinking water services. Furthermore, only 25% of rural schools have access to basic sanitation services, and 17% have access to basic hygiene services," WVSI National Director Jimmy Nadapdap said.
Mr. Nadapdap assured WVSI is committed to ensure the project is successful.
Zohra Nasir Hunzai UNICEF SBS Specialist represent the Chief Field Office explained this project is phase II of WASH in Schools in Guadalcanal.
"In Phase I, the 42 schools in Guadalcanal Schools were benefited and in the second phase I felt that our work will make a better not only in WASH services but education and also reduces diseases," Zohra said.
She also highlighted that lack of water, hygiene services, and facilities contributed to fewer girls completing school.
"Less than 10 percent of girls completed schools, and issues of water, sanitation, hygiene, and facilities are contributing towards that especially go teenage girls; thus, we must work to address the issue," she said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Premier Rina acknowledged the donor (MFAT), UNICEF, Live and Lean and World Vision Solomon Islands for the support towards schools of Guadalcanal.
Hon. Rina emphaised the project will benefit Guadalcanal's children, including girls and those with disabilities.
This project will work with 33 schools in Honiara and Guadalcanal to achieve three key outputs. The out-puts are; Output 1: Functional, resilient, inclusive WASH facilities and services provided at targeted schools, Output 2: School communities and teachers mobilised, trained and engaged in supporting WASH in schools, and Output 3: School community resilience embedded through WASH safety planning.
The project will directly benefit the population of 6,202 children and 257 teachers from the 33 schools.