Long Read

Witteveen+Bos provide technical training to WASH and Learn partners in Uganda

WASH and Learn is a programme that addresses the water, sanitation and hygiene needs in schools and surrounding communities in selected areas in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. By using an integrated WASH approach stakeholders work together to increase access to, and use, of WASH facilities to structurally improve basic health, school attendance and the school performance of children in the selected areas, as well as structurally improving basic health and empowering communities to improve their own situation.

Each country has its own unique component in the programme, but regularly joins together to stimulate peer-to-peer learning. A good example of this was the technical training provided by Witteveen+Bos, a technical partner in WASH and Learn.

From 13-17 June 2016, the WASH and Learn Technical Programme Training was organised by SIMAVI in collaboration with Witteveen+Bos. The goal was to train local NGOs to improve the programme’s technical component, thereby raising effectiveness in local areas throughout the three countries. Participants from partner organisations included UFUNDIKO and Tabora Development Foundation Trust, as well as the following local NGOs : Community Asset Building and Development Action (Tanzania); Health through Water and Sanitation programme (Kenya), Emesco Development Foundation and Joint Effort To Save the Environment (Uganda). Over a period of five days the group covered insightful topics including securing operation and maintenance through the FIETS approach, procurement, water quality management, sustainable sanitation and work safety.

Besides the classroom training, the participants also visited field examples from the Ugandan partners JESE and HEWASA to share knowledge and reflect together. The training has provided a good basis for the implementation of the WASH and Learn programme and was a good opportunity for the partners to share their experience and get technical advice from Witteveen+Bos.

Lillian Linda, Knowledge & Learning Coordinator: “Local partners UFUNDIKO, TDFT and EMESCO were inspired to implement new ways of establishing school health clubs by the activities they observed during their field visits. Furthermore, HEWASA and JESE changed the design of their latrines to include incinerators due to a lesson learned from TDFT.  The training has had a huge impact on how implementing effective procurement for WASH should be done, especially in regards to bidding and supervision of work by technical staff. Partners also now realise the importance of projecting both negative and positive annual costs in order to effect the sustainable operation and maintenance of WASH facilities. Additionally there is more acknowledgment of the importance of water quality testing before commissioning a water source, as well as during the supply. This was partly prompted by the presentation on other sources of water contamination besides e-coli; these included bird faeces and minerals like manganese in the soil.”

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