Halcrow Foundation is helping reduce the spread of Covid-19 in Zambian schools by funding the building of permanent hand-washing stations.
Washing hands regularly with soap and water has been a key health message in the battle against Covid-19, yet the lack of adequate facilities means this isn’t possible for many in Zambia. So our charity partner, Build It International, set up the Safe Hands Project which builds new, permanent hand-washing facilities in schools near Lusaka, and trains teachers to deliver accurate Covid-19 prevention awareness to pupils.
Build It International installs permanent hand-washing stations in crowded urban schools that are at a higher risk from the spread of Covid-19. It also reaches rural schools that have a lower risk of transmission, but are poorly resourced. Since the Zambian government closed schools in March, more than 4.4 million children and adolescents’ learning has been put on hold. Now that schools have started to re-open, the new facilities mean pupils can return to their studies safely.
The stations are efficiently designed, and involve either modifying the school’s existing hand-pumps or connecting directly to an existing water pipe system. Each has the capacity for 18 children to wash their hands at the same time and serves 500 children. As the stations are permanent, they will provide improved sanitation for pupils throughout the pandemic and into the future.
Halcrow Foundation will fund five hand-washing stations, and also contribute towards the training of Build It International construction graduates to deliver the projects. Overall, Build It International aim to build up to 36 permanent hand-washing stations, reaching more than 20,000 school children.
Dinah Lwanga, Deputy Headteacher at Kamaila Primary School, explains the difference the new facilities make:
“It is not easy in the past because we were using buckets as hand washing facilities… with the new permanent hand wash, many pupils can wash at once. Even after Covid-19 pandemic, pupils will continue washing their hands to prevent other diseases.”
About Build It International
Build It International works in Zambia and believes everyone has a right to education and training, to enable a sustainable future. It has completed nearly 50 community construction projects including schools, clinics and sanitation facilities, and has trained more than 1,000 young men and women in construction skills. The charity uses sustainable local materials and construction techniques wherever possible.