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Oct 9, 2017

Taking Splash designs to the next level

Fiberglass stations
Fiberglass stations

For over a decade, Splash has been incorporating innovative design into our drinking and handwashing stations. From testing multiple versions of stations (everything from brick and mortar, concrete and tile, glass stone, commercially available products, custom stainless-steel models, and our current fiberglass molds), to designing stations for institutions accommodating a wide range of children (from schools of 5,000, to feeding centers of 1,500, to pediatric hospitals of 100), we have rich experience with what works and what doesn’t. 

Design is a critical component to ensure our handwashing and drinking water stations are durable, vandal proof, child-friendly in color and size, and usable by all children, including those with special needs. We need our stations to be easy to maintain and operate, manufactured locally, and cost-effective for third party replication. 

As Splash looks to expand our sanitation projects in Ethiopia, we will take our best practices learned in Asia and manufacture and install fiberglass stations in Addis Ababa for the first time. Previously, we only installed concrete and tile stations in schools.

Fiberglass stations are easier to install, easier to clean, easier to repair, and easier to move after installation than our existing tile and concrete stations in Ethiopia. The design process has also allowed us to make our stations more child friendly (both in terms of aesthetics and functionality). 

Splash’s team in Addis Ababa have been hard at work, researching fiberglass manufacturers, gathering bids, re-negotiating prices, and as of August 2017, supervising initial station manufacturing. The new fiberglass stations for Ethiopia will be similar to the design we use for Nepal and India, with small improvements.

One of the design modifications will allow for the placement of four water taps, to increase student access to water (the designs for India and Nepal were based on two taps per station). The ability to serve more students per station is needed given the very large school sizes in Addis Ababa, with some schools having upwards of 2,000 students.

Ultimately, our goal is for our stations to be as durable, lightweight, and stackable for easy transport and storage as possible. We also hope to design the stations so they can be conjoined side-by-side to produce one long multi-tap water station, or placed back-to-back to allow for group handwashing activities, as recommended by UNICEF.

Most importantly, Splash can rev up our implementation in Addis Ababa, allowing us to reach our goal of providing every public school with clean water and clean hands, more efficiently, while not sacrificing on quality. We hope that this work will serve as a model for the greater WASH sector of what’s possible when you resolve to innovate and never settle. 

Jul 26, 2017

Changing Lives in Kolkata's Residential Schools

Photo by Gavin Gough
Photo by Gavin Gough

This year, Splash and our implementing partner, City Level Programme of Action (CLPOA), are working hard to bring clean water, hands, and toilets to twenty residential and day-boarding schools in Kolkata, India, benefiting over 4,000 children. 

Kolkata’s residential schools are designed to serve children in need. Many have never enrolled in school or have dropped out of the mainstream education system. Often these children are from single parent households or are orphaned. The schools offer free, compulsory education up to the eighth grade, with the principal aim of reintegrating child drop-outs into the mainstream education system. During the school year, these students live at the school, making Splash’s intervention even more important, as students would be provided 100% of their water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) needs.

We’ve already installed water filtration systems at nine residential schools, bringing clean water to 2,182 kids for the very first time! So far, the change has been revolutionary for students. Students like Hiran*, an eighth grader at Rani Bhabani School, lives there with 90 other students and is receiving clean water for the first time and gaining valuable hygiene education. He loves working in the library and his favorite subject is math. To him math is like magic - a wonderful mystery with fascinating results. When asked what he wants to do when he grows up, he glows with confidence and says he would like to become an engineer.

Hiran has seen an increase in handwashing, a decrease in water misuse, and has developed a greater understanding of his rights. He’s has fun playing the different hygiene education games with Splash staff and learning about safe water and hygiene practices. But, most importantly, he notes: “Look everywhere. It’s so clean.”                    

Thanks to people like you, Splash’s intervention will benefit the health and livelihood of thousands of Kolkata’s most vulnerable students and will continue to do so for years to come. We look forward to expanding our work to the remaining residential schools in Kolkata and continuing to improve the lives of even more kids!

 

We couldn't do this without you. Thank you for making a difference in India!

 

 

* Name has been changed to protect privacy 

Jul 11, 2017

Changing Behaviors in Ethiopia

Child-friendly handwashing signs
Child-friendly handwashing signs

While many members of the Splash team are busy focusing on the installation of filtration systems and maintaining existing infrastructure, Splash understands that supplying clean water for kids can only keep them healthy as long as they pair it with safe hygiene habits. This year Splash celebrated World Water Day and Menstrual Hygiene Day with events at primary schools across Addis Ababa. Schools in Addis tend to be enormous in size, some having more than 4,000 primary age students at one campus alone! Through 32 different events, we reached 48,543 attendees with the message that every child should practice good hygiene.

Over the years, Splash has introduced hygiene education and sanitation interventions to many of our programs. These behavior change programs include a combination of “hardware” – child friendly WASH infrastructure – and “software” – programs that target children and adults, like hygiene clubs and parent associations.

Since 2016, behavior change programs have been a major focus for Splash in Ethiopia. Using Splash supported curriculum, many schools formed student hygiene clubs that promote health and hygiene in school among peers. They also organized massive soap drives where schools in Addis have so far collected 13,710 bars of soap!

By the end of 2017, we aim to lock in our implementation model through clear global standards and guidelines for urban WASH-in-School projects. These standards and guidelines are critical to enable our next stage of growth as we look to scale our impact.

Splash has big goals for Ethiopia – 100% coverage for every government school across Addis Ababa. Success will bring over 400,000 kids clean, safe water for years to come. The first half of 2017 has continued to pave the way for scale, replication, and completion in Addis Ababa and (eventually) across Ethiopia. Since our last update, we have completed one major WASH in Schools project, bringing clean water to 1,510 new kids!

Today Splash served 57,194 children at 35 schools, 10 orphanages, 5 shelters, and 3 hospitals in Addis Ababa.

Thank you for taking the time to read about our exciting progress in Addis Ababa. It’s only with the support of people like you that our goals are attainable. Your donation to Splash ensures clean water is a reality for thousands of children!

Together, we’re making a difference.

Students demonstrating good hygiene practices
Students demonstrating good hygiene practices

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