Something to smile about
Water and hope for pupils of Basonda Girls’ school
With a wide, warm and a cheerful smile, 13-year-old Asrar Hamdy Arbab Mohamed stands next to the new water facility in her school compound. In the past, Asrar and many of her friends in Basonda Girl’s school located in Gedarif state, had little to smile about. For nearly eight years since she joined the school, Asrar and many other pupils lacked safe drinking water at the school. The sanitation situation too was appalling, causing a lot of distress among the pupils.
“We fetched drinking water from nearby homes or bought from the market while others carried bottles of water from home which was never enough,” Asrar narrated.
This greatly affected the attendance of pupils with many missing lessons due to thirst and dehydration.
UNICEF has rehabilitated the water yard system in Basonda town which currently transmits water through eight distribution water points benefiting communities and schools including Basonda Girls’ school. At the learning institution, the only one offering basic education for girls, in Basonda town, water taps have been constructed in the compound, benefitting pupils like Asrar.
” Pupils now feel comfortable and safe. They are also punctual and attend school often.” “We bring our own cups and drink water whenever we feel thirsty,” Asrar shares.
Asrar also confirms that the water has also improved the sanitation at the school. Today, water has been connected to the toilet blocks constructed with UNICEF support.
“At my school, the toilet has water and hand washing facilities. Pupils are now practicing hand washing after using the toilets. We are so happy to have sufficient clean drinking water in the school," she asserts.
All the eight water points installed under the EU-IGAD funded project are providing clean and safe water to schools and communities around Basonda town.