Four Ministries are responsible for ensuring delivery of WASH in schools: the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, Ministry of Water and the Prime Minister’s Office-Regional Administration and Local Government.
Systematic cooperation and collaboration between these ministries is vital for assuring sustainable solutions to WASH in schools. UNICEF played a key role in supporting the development of Memorandum of Understanding between these ministries which defines a framework for cooperation and relative responsibilities.
UNICEF assisted development of the draft National Sanitation and Hygiene Policy which reflects joint commitment by these government bodies responsible for different aspects of WASH in Schools.
Collaboration between the four ministries was also critical for the development of harmonized set of National School WASH Guidelines and Toolkits for Tanzania. UNICEF ensured that the guidelines are suitable for the needs of all girls and boys, including children with disabilities, and that they promote sustainable solutions to suit different environments.
The guidelines and toolkits include Hygiene Education and Promotion, including Menstrual Hygiene Management for Adolescent Girls, maintenance of water and sanitation facilities, mobilising community commitments etc.
Children can be the most effective advocates for social and behaviour change. Part of the whole school package for WASH supported by UNICEF includes the establishment of hygiene and sanitation clubs where pupils learn healthy practices and are encouraged to pass on these life-saving sanitation and hygiene practices to family members - both adults and younger siblings - and thereby positively influence the community as a whole.
Investing in WASH in schools is considered one of the most viable approaches to WASH at all levels. Changing the behaviours of school children results in quick transformational changes that extend beyond the school boundary into respective communities where the acquired hygiene knowledge is carried back home.
In this manner the achieved results are long-lasting and, over time, would extend to cover the entire nation.UNICEF is also supporting the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training in developing the National School WASH Programme.
Resource mobilization for school WASH
The School WASH guidelines are being modelled in more than 100 schools by UNICEF and partners, providing a safe learning environment for more than 70,000 children.
Experience from the piloting will create a tested model for the School WASH package which will be used to help drive the major investments needed to ensure minimum water, sanitation and hygiene standards in Tanzania’s schools.
It is estimated that providing WASH facilities in all 18,000 primary schools of Tanzania, reaching over 10 million school children, will require an investment of about $450 million. Leveraging the significant investments needed in the sector is a primary goal for UNICEF.
UNICEF continues to advocate with government and development partners for leveraging resources for School WASH. These efforts include advocating for establishing a School WASH basket funding mechanism, developing the National School WASH programme and formulating the National School WASH plan.