Raleigh’s focus on sustainable development through youth tackles the issue through our school water, sanitation and hygiene (SWASH) programme in Tanzania. Providing access to adequate sanitation facilities is paramount to a safe learning environment, and while it establishes a strong foundation for our work, it also encompasses wider challenges on our road to lasting, sustainable change.
Poor access to sanitation facilities in school has a perpetual impact on the health of students in Tanzania, due to high incidence of illness such as preventable diarrhoea as well as significant contribution to malnutrition which leads to a third of young children being stunted. Rehema, a teacher at Nanenane primary school in Nyamwezi, sees Raleigh as, “An organisation that, in collaboration with the Tanzanian government, identify areas of severe problems and deliver projects addressing them.” As part of it’s vision for 2025, the Tanzanian government has set the target 85% for access to improved sanitation facilities in rural areas. Mathias, a SWASH teacher at Nanenane, reflects on the progress of the Raleigh project,“Good progress with both construction and lessons; the lasting element is important because once these students finish school, there will be new students at Nanenane, who will benefit from the learning and take on the importance of maintaining the blocks and hygiene practices.”
Whilst attendance rates at primary school are high, there is a significant drop in the number female of students that go on to secondary education. This is often the result of a lack of separate sanitation facilities allowing for privacy when menstruation begins. Constructing and encouraging the use of sanitation blocks at schools combats this and other issues such as the spread of preventable diseases.