MiiR is proud to partner with Splash, a Seattle-based nonprofit enterprise that ensures clean water, clean hands and clean toilets for kids in Asia and Africa. Together, Splash and MiiR are partnering to implement clean water, hygiene education and sanitation improvements at 13 public schools in Kathmandu, Nepal, immediately benefitting approximately 1,500 children and thousands more in future years.
$40,000 benefitting 9 schools and 1,200 students (November 2016)
$15,000 benefitting 4 schools and 354 students (February 2017)
With 2.5 million people, Kathmandu Valley is the country's single largest urban economy and is critical to Nepal's economic growth. Current water services are inadequate and the poor often have little choice but to drink contaminated water. A citywide baseline survey of schools conducted before the devastating 2015 earthquake showed that the vast majority of non-Splash partner schools tested positive for E. coli and high presence of total coliform bacteria. Unclean water, particularly when coupled with unhygienic conditions and practices, is a fundamental threat to Nepali children’s health, education and opportunity.
With MiiR’s support, Splash is currently on track to reach 100% coverage of all government schools in Kathmandu by 2019. Splash continues to believe its best position to capitalize on this audacious goal is to shift from current role as direct implementer to one of collaborator with the government.
Splash aims to improve the health and development of children in dense, urban areas by ensuring they have clean water, clean hands and clean toilets. Every day, Splash serves over 370,000 children in eight countries – China, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam - and is on track to serve one million children by 2020. Working in Nepal since 2007, Splash currently serves nearly 70% of the public school children in Kathmandu across 211 school sites. With MiiR's help, they aim to reach 100% of Kathmandu schools by 2019.
Photo credit: Gavin Gough
MiiR Project #19 took shape in two phases. The first phase funded Splash's work at nine schools in Kathmandu. This update focuses on the second phase (and one school in particular), beginning in February 2017 and funding Splash’s work at four additional schools, benefiting 465 children.
All four schools are transformed from having stinky, unusable toilets, no soap for handwashing and polluted municipal drinking water to having clean water, clean hands and clean toilets every day of the week. This massive progress was achieved in under a year; this long-term solution will be available to serve thousands of kids in the decades to come.
Before: Toilet facilities at Bal Bikash Samaj Sudhar
For the 200 students attending Bal Bikash Samaj Sudhar (27.7856, 85.3431), conditions previous to Splash's intervention were abysmal, with ONE handwashing tap for the entire school that frequently had no water or soap available. The toilets were even worse - cracked and no tap for cleaning, resulting in dirty, inadequate facilities. With no prior hygiene training and no way to practice good hygiene, kids dealt with the conditions as we all would, often by plugging their noses to endure the smell.
After: Repaired, clean toilet facilities at Bal Bikash Samaj Sudhar
Post intervention, the school is noticeably different. Kids are seen buzzing around the new colorful handwashing station, which has soap available to use after they have visited the repaired, clean and child-friendly toilet facilities. They also enjoy clean water from the LifeStraw Filter system.
New handwashing station inside upgraded toilet facilities.
Not only are teachers and students happy, but the parents are elated to see the changes the new WASH infrastructure has had on their kids. Nir Kumar Lama, a parent of one of the students, noted he was happy not only because his son has learned about safe water and handwashing, but that he has also taught his grandfather that he must wash his hands with soap and water before every meal.
Student drinks from newly installed drinking station in school courtyard at Bal Bikash Samaj Sudhar
While much of the water filtration installation and implementation work was completed at all nine schools in January, detailed sanitation assessments and improvements have since been made. Besides plumbing to ensure water is available inside toilet facilities, improvements at eight schools included tiling, installation of doors and door locks where needed, lighting and ventilation improvements, and child-friendly aesthetic enhancements and behavioral nudges through the installation of mirrors, plaster and paint (one school did not receive a sanitation intervention by Splash, as it had recently upgraded its facilities).
Hygiene education was also conducted at all schools in February. Teachers were trained to lead this program, and in conjunction with these efforts, soap drives were conducted to ensure availability of soap at hand washing stations.
MiiR made a second investment of $15,000 in February 2017 to fund Splash’s work at four schools, benefiting 354 children. Water filters and handwashing stations have been installed at all schools. The sanitation facilities have also been renovated to make them more child friendly. Hygiene training has also been conducted with teachers and students at all schools, followed by a Soap Drive event.
School names: Bal Bikash Samaj Sudhar, Sanchetana Primary School, Shree Choina Bina Guru Ganesh Primary School, Manakamana Primary School.
Students from Manakamana Primary School splashing around with CLEAN water!
Murals and a mirror decorate an exterior wall of Ganesh Lower Secondary School above new hand washing stations.
Hand washing activity at Indrayani Kritipur Primary School.
As of January 15th, Splash Nepal has completed the installation of water filtration systems and ensured drinking taps are available at all nine of the first set of MiiR-supported schools in Kathmandu. Additionally, Splash Nepal has collected post-intervention samples and tested the water quality at all nine schools, confirming they comply with the water quality standards stipulated by the World Health Organization.
Along with the water filtration systems, Splash Nepal has completed the installation of hand washing stations at all nine schools covered under the grant agreement, achieving at least a 1 to 50 tap-to-student ratio. Sanitation activities are underway, with detailed assessment and planning having been completed for all schools. Through the assessment, five schools were identified as needing significant plumbing and tap repairs.
Besides plumbing to ensure water is available inside toilet facilities, planned improvements include tiling, installation of doors and door locks where needed, lighting and ventilation improvements and aesthetic enhancements through plaster and paint. Already students have been observed drinking clean water and using hand washing stations during Splash Nepal site visits. Hygiene education is planned to take place the second week of February, after which regular monitoring will take place. As part of the hygiene education program, student’s knowledge will be tested before and after training sessions to assess the effectiveness of the activities.
As of December 12th, Splash Nepal has completed baseline data collection and vetting procedures at all nine schools selected for Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) implementation under the MiiR grant agreement. Since the initiation of the grant (November 1st), Splash Nepal has completed a Needs Assessment for each school, based on the data collected: beneficiary demographics, WASH infrastructure conditions, water availability and quality, current hygiene behaviors, and water use practices.
With the information gathered from the Needs Assessments, Splash Nepal has ordered all required equipment and materials (water filtration systems, filter replacement parts, drinking stations, hand washing stations, plumbing and construction materials, etc.) from our licensed suppliers, which will be arriving at the Splash Nepal office in Kathmandu within the next couple of weeks.
While the team waits for the materials to arrive, Splash Nepal staff is finalizing contractual agreements (Memorandums of Understanding, MOUs) with each school and helping them to establish separate bank accounts for ongoing WASH Operation & Maintenance (O&M) funds per said agreement. Once materials have arrived, the project MOUs are signed, and the initial O&M deposit is confirmed, Splash Nepal will commence work toward: upgrading on-site plumbing, installing the water filtration systems, securing clean water lines to the fiberglass drinking stations, ensuring adequate water storage capacity, renovating sanitation facilities, training teachers and staff on basic filter maintenance, and integrating Splash’s hygiene education program into the school curriculum.
School names: Bal Bikash School, Panchakumari Primary School, Mahendra Rastriya Primary School, Ganesh Lower Secondary School, Champak Binayak, Shree Shitala Higher Secondary School, Indrayani Kritipur Primary School, Indrayani Lower Secondary School, Natheshwory Primary School.