Viva con Agua and Simavi

Viva con Agua is supporting Simavi’s WASH and Learn! an Eastern Africa Community and School WASH Learning and Exchange Programme

2016 is going to be an important year for Viva con Agua Nederland. Why? We decided to support Simavi’s WASH and Learn programme, an amazing opportunity to come closer to our overall goal: All for Water – Water for All!

Simavi is a Dutch organization, which has been implementing WASH programs in Sub-Saharan Africa since 2000, and after 2005 with a bigger focus on WASH programs in schools, seeing the opportunity to create sustainable improvements of hygiene and knowledge by addressing those who learn best: Pupils of local schools.

The WASH and Learn! Programme aims at improving the accessibility of water, basic sanitation and hygiene in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya, by improving the access and use of WASH facilities in schools. Since one of our founding members of VcA Netherlands is Kenyan, we decided to make use of this personal and emotional tie and support the programs happening in Kenya.

The Kenyan branch of the WASH project will take place in the communities of Teso South and Nambale Sub Counties. In both sub counties, agriculture is the key source of food and employment. Unfortunately, they also experience a high poverty level (over 60%). This is due to a lack of safe water and sanitation, which causes a wide spread of WASH related sicknesses, such as diarrhea or typhoid. The lack of water also significantly decreases commercial agricultural activities. Simavi and Viva con Agua believe, that the key for improving the living standards in those counties lies within the improvement of the WASH accessibility.

How does the programme work?

The programme aims at improving the situation for 1.800 pupils at school and in addition to that will positively affect 6.600 people in their local communities, by reducing WASH related diseases through provision of Safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in schools and communities while empowering them economically to sustain these facilities.

One of the primary aims of the programme is to increase efforts in educating children about hygiene, sanitation and water. This approach is promising, since pupils have a higher ability of learning and adjusting their behavior to what they learned. Accordingly pupils can take over responsibility and share their newly acquired knowledge with the rest of the community.  Furthermore local entrepreneurs will be incentivized to get involved and take over small businesses taking care of the WASH facilities. An estimated outcome will be 100 additional jobs in the local communities. Eventually, to access to safe water supply, new boreholes will be drilled near each of the selected schools.

Viva con Agua Nederland is excited and more than happy to have found a partner in Simavi, to take not just one step, but even kilometers into the direction of reaching our overall vision: Water for all!