Girl demonstrating how to treat drinking water
We are excited to share several good news with you:
- The project is in full swing. So far, we trained 487 teachers and 3103 kids in 40 schools. This implies that school kids in these 40 schools are now consuming safe drinking water, among other things.
- The project also involves the community around the schools. For this purpose, “Safe Water Committees” have been established and trained at the 40 schools.
- The project has been evaluated this week by one of the our collaboration partners, Antenna Technologies, a Switzerland-based NGO. They were impressed by the progress of the project, especially regarding the institutional support we generated at the Ministry of Education at district level, and we are now discussing options on how to extend and expand the project in the future.
During our visit to 15 of the 40 schools this week, we confirmed how the project is transforming daily routines at the project schools. A typical example is the school “Encanto Pampa” in Tiquipaya: all the water used at this school is delivered by a tanker truck because there is no connection to the public water distribution network. This water then is stored in barrels. Previous to the project, this water was used for cooking, drinking and washing without further treatment. Now, the schools has two options to treat the water: either by adding a locally produced chlorine solution or by exposing the water to sunlight (SODIS method). Both methods have been proven to work satisfactorily, and it’s now up to the teachers and kids to decide which method they prefer. The project also supported the installation of “Safe Water Corners” at each classroom, where safe drinking water and clean cups are readily available.
Apart from the project update, we also wanted to share with you the good news that the SODIS Foundation won the "Water for Life Best Practices Award" of the United Nations. This important award promotes particularly effective initiatives in the field of water management and awareness issues. The first prize in the category “best participatory, communication, awareness-raising and education practices” went to the SODIS Foundation for a previous project which was implemented with the support of UNICEF. On World Water Day (March 22), during a ceremony held at the headquarters of the Food and Agricultural Organization in Rome, the award was handed over to Elsa Sánchez, executive director of the SODIS Foundation. The organizing institutions also will help disseminating the results of the project; currently, a short video is in preparation and we will be sharing with you its release in the coming weeks. We want you to feel part of this success - because of supporters like you, we can keep developing such innovative projects and reach out to the people who most need them.
As you can see, improving living conditions in schools and households in Bolivia keeps us busy – that is one of the reasons why you have not heard from us in a while. Please let us know if this information is helpful or what kind of information you want. Please also feel free to share this information with friends and family through your social networks or by passing on the word.
Thank you again for your support and best regards from the whole project team,
Group of children in front of the SODIS platform