WASH & Learn

Today, 2.5 billion people around the world lack access to adequate sanitation and 1.8 billion people use an unsafe drinking water source. Without access to safe water and sanitation, diseases spread fast: over 13,700 people die every day from diarrhoeal diseases alone.

Access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services isn’t only important in the home: to successfully improve basic health, WASH services and education must be extended to schools and other public places. However, the standard of most WASH services and education in schools lag far behind WASH at household level: 31% of schools in developing countries currently have no access to an improved water source.

Without increased, proper access to, and use of, WASH facilities at schools and at home, the health situation of a community will not improve adequately. As a further consequence, existing WASH facilities at schools or in the community/household will be overused and overburdened, resulting in reduced lifespan of the facilities.


continue to objectives

Overall objective

‘WASH and Learn!’ will use an integrated WASH approach to work on water supply, sanitation and hygiene behaviour improvements. Increasing access to, and use, of WASH facilities will structurally improve basic health, school attendance and the sch00l performance of children in the selected areas, as well as structurally improving basic health and empowering communities so they can continue to improve their own situation.

Specific objectives

  1. Improve access and use of WASH facilities for 19,380 pupils at school
  2. Improve sustainable access and use of WASH facilities for 26,470 people from the communities surrounding the schools
  3. Improve capacity of local NGOs on: implementing WASH programmes in schools and community; business skills; and technical skills
  4. Improve capacity and involvement of local entrepreneurs to provide WASH services to schools and households/communities
continue to approach

The ‘WASH and Learn!’ programme will integrate community and school WASH projects in three adjacent countries in East Africa. Together with six local NGO partners with specific features and challenges, we will implement this programme.

The programme will focus on schools. As early adaptors, children learn more easily than adults and are quicker in adjusting their behaviour. At the same time, the communities around selected schools will be targeted to provide WASH facilities at home and at school, and ensure school WASH facilities are not overused by the community.

Simavi’s activities

Simavi will implement an integrated WASH approach to work on water supply, sanitation and hygiene behaviour improvements. We will work with communities on  creating a positive enabling environment in which every stakeholder (including private sector for supply) is active, and we will ensure that people use the WASH services properly. To maximise reach, the programme will work both in schools and the surrounding communities. As starting point we will take the local context and  current capacities and experiences of our local partners.  Specific country and partner approaches can be developed from these starting points so we can reach the overall objectives.

By pooling three countries and six local partners, Simavi can offer specific learning and sharing sessions on (for example) the results of small business development pilots that can be assessed, improved and scaled out. Each country will have a specific area of expertise that will be shared with the other countries for linking and learning processes. The aim of these exchanges is to enhance knowledge and gauge the potential of implementing similar activities in the other countries in the following areas:

  • Prepaid water supply
  • Cost recovery tools
  • Menstrual hygiene management tools
  • Tendering approach
  • Lobbying and advocacy on WASH budgets

The FIETS principles are applied to these activities to achieve sustainable change.

continue to result

During the 2016 inception phase the local partners developed their projects, carried out a baseline study and worked on the technical details for the proposed improvements to the WASH services.

Read more here.

Situation Approach Result

Programme information

  • Simavi Budget

    € 1.89 million

  • Overal Budget

    € 1.89 million

  • 3 years

  • Location

    Kenya: Nambale and Teso South Sub-Counties, Busia County, Western Kenya;
    Uganda: Kabarole District, Bunyangabu County, Kisomoro and Rwimi Sub-Counties, Kibaale District, Bungangaize West County, Rwenzori Region, Western Uganda;
    Tanzania: Nzega, Uyui and Sikonge districts, Tabora Region and Kongwa District in Dodoma Region.

  • Target groups

    School pupils and people from the surrounding communities.

  • Implementing partners

    Kenya: CABDA, Maji Milele
    Tanzania: TDFT, UFUNDIKO
    Support partners: Witteveen en Bos, IRC WASH

  • Donors

    Walking for Water 2016-2018
    Rotary District 1570
    Aqua for All (will add 80% to the collected money from Walking for Water and Rotary District 1570).

  • Role of Simavi

    Simavi is the lead implementing partner and is responsible for the programme. We will contract local partners as well as partners in the Netherlands.

Do you want to know more about WASH & Learn?

Please contact our colleague Sandra van Soelen.

+31 (0)88 313 15 84

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