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Nov 7, 2016

How To Do Urban Sanitation at Schools in India

This year, Splash has begun to formulate the beginning of a sound and strategic approach to urban sanitation in schools, with a significant focus on menstrual hygiene management (MHM) and ensuring safe, functional toilets for girls.

Throughout the course of 2016, Splash has: conducted landscape analyses of existing sanitation policies, partners, and practices in target countries; developed program standards and key performance indicators for tracking changes in sanitation infrastructure and behavior at urban schools; added local sanitation experts to our in-country staff; executed mid-scale sanitation pilot projects; participated in global sanitation conferences and conversations; and documented all cross-country research and findings. These activities represent an important shift for an organization that, just one year ago, focused solely on water and hygiene. Today, Splash is actively planning and budgeting for scaled sanitation interventions as part of our core Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) in Schools programming. 

The development of Splash's new global sanitation program means that kids in the cities we serve (Kolkata, Kathmandu, and Addis Ababa) will not only have clean water and clean hands, but access to clean and safe toilets too—arguably, the most challenging WASH component and the most critical for improving health. 

The development of Splash’s Sanitation Program has required extensive participation and cooperation across multiple teams, countries, and stakeholders. Splash staff in India, and worldwide, have been challenged to plan for the integration of sanitation elements into each country’s existing school water and hygiene programs. The development of global key performance indicators across all three sectors, including sanitation, has required immense creativity, collaboration, community participation, and dialogue.

In most poor urban schools, we have observed that toilets exist, but are usually broken, unhygienic, or simply abandoned. This year, Splash has been designing a sanitation intervention that targets the specific sanitation issues that plague resource-limited schools--especially the ones in crowded, urban environments. 

In Kathmandu, Nepal, Splash recently completed a 20-school sanitation pilot completed in Kathmandu, Nepal, to test an early iteration of our global sanitation approach for urban schools. This intervention delivers sanitation "polishings" with an emphasis on girls' health. In this design, Splash's sanitation “polish” includes: restoring or improving water supply in toilets (replaces broken taps, install taps, buckets, etc.); adding waste bins in female toilet facilities; creating functional doors (with locks) in female toilet facilities; enabling sufficient lighting and ventilation in female toilet facilities; and making aesthetic improvements such as paint. Depending on the circumstances, schools could receive additional sanitation improvements such as: improved drainage; waste bins, doors, and lighting in male facilities. Additional, more labor-intensive sanitation improvements, such as rainwater harvesting for water poor schools, are still being investigated. The effectiveness of behavioral “nudges” (visual cues that trigger behavior change), such as mirrors at hand washing stations, painted footsteps from the toilets to the hand washing stations, and persuasive signs we evaluated as well. 

Evaluation of our Sanitation Pilot in Nepal has helped Splash to significantly advance our implementation strategy for sanitation and MHM at urban schools. At a high level, Splash is now considering sanitation approaches that are adaptable to local conditions and constraints because typically, in urban settings, the problem isn’t the availability of materials, it’s about quality, space, use, and management.

In India, Splash has grown our sanitation human resource network by engaging local sanitation experts and hiring a full-time Sanitation Manager in our Kolkata office. We are pumped to kick off our first attempt at a scaled sanitation approach in India by the end of the year! 

It has been a pleasure to share this update with you! Your donation to Splash has helped to make all this work possible. I hope you will continue to support Splash as we race toward 100% WASH coverage in Kolkata by 2021. 

Thank you!

Julie (on behalf of the Splash Team) 


Oct 20, 2016

HUGE progress toward 100% WASH in Schools coverage in Addis Ababa

Splash and AAEB signing the MOU
Splash and AAEB signing the MOU

The past three months have brought tremendous gains toward our goal: bringing 100% of government schools in Addis Ababa sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services within the next 5 years--an achievement that would benefit 400,000 kids in need.  

Central to Splash's Theory of Change is the concept of creating supportive government practices that can eventually take ownership of Splash's safe water interventions and keep them alive in perpetuity without our help. In Addis, I'm excited to announce, these local practices are beginning to unfold!

A few months ago, the Addis Ababa Education Bureau (AAEB) invited Splash to lead them in conducting a city-wide WASH survey of all private schools in Addis. Splash, having conducted the first-ever city-wide WASH survey of all public schools in Addis last year, has become known by the government as a valued leader in urban WASH. Through this new government-sponsored initiative, we are watching the local government adopt our idea that all children need safe water and clean toilets at school, and better yet, act on that principle.

In this new partnership with AAEB, Splash will sit on a Steering Committee that informs and guides this governmental action. It is an incredible indicator of change to observe the local government working in parallel with Splash to achieve a shared goal. While Splash continues to implement WASH programs in public schools, the local government has taken the first step toward doing the same for private schools in Addis. True 100% coverage is in sight. 

I am so honored to bring you this update from the field!

Today, Splash is serving safe water to 41,384 kids in Ethiopia, and each month we continue to reach more.

We're making incredible headway--none of which would be possible without people like you. Your support is critical to ensuring this systematic change becomes truly ingrained and safe water becomes a daily reality for the children of Addis. Please continue to be a part of this change in Ethiopia. 


Thank you! 


Aug 5, 2016

Over 26,000 kids in Kolkata have safe water!

Cheers to you & kids with clean water everywhere!
Cheers to you & kids with clean water everywhere!

Thanks to your support, 26,778 kids at 27 schools, 3 orphanages and 2 shelters in Kolkata, India have access to safe water today!

While this is an incredible accomplishment, it's far from our ultimate goal of ensuring all schoolchildren in Kolkata have clean water, clean hands, and clean toilets.

Reaching this goal will mean implementing and sustaining WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene) programs at all 2,000 public schools in Kolkata to benefit a total of 420,000 aspiring youth! We still have a long way to go. 

Since January 2016, Splash has launched hygiene education programs at 17 government schools in Kolkata, which included training workshops for 89 teachers, 320 students, and 198 additional community members. Our staff also facilitated soap drives at each school to ensure each school is stocked with a year’s worth of soap! (Critical to promoting healthy handwashing habits.)

On the sanitation front, Splash has formed an exciting new partnership with a local consultancy, EcoTec, to help us design and construct toilet facilities that optimize space, resources, and, above all, child health and safety. We are also collaborating with the Confederation of Indian Industry to identify additional partners as we work to reach 50 more schools with our full WASH intervention by the end of this year. 

Completing WASH programs at these 50 new schools will require roughly $50,000 -- a target we can hit with your help.  

Having 50 more schools equipped with safe drinking water, proper hygiene facilities, and functional toilets will make more than 10,000 kids happier and healthier. Who doesn't want that? 

I am proud to bring you this update and thank you again for helping us bring joy and safe water to thousands of kids in India!

Let's make more smiles together.



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