Zambia - WASH in Schools

Schools Promoting Learning Achievement through Sanitation and Hygiene (SPLASH) 

A USAID/Zambia funded WASHplus activity known as SPLASH (Schools Promoting Learning Achievement through Sanitation and Hygiene) is underway in Zambia to support the Ministry of Education to bring clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene education to primary schools in Eastern Province.

The goal of SPLASH is to improve health, learning and performance of primary school pupils and teachers by providing a cleaner and safer learning environment. Project activities focus on provision of safe water and adequate sanitation and the adoption of better hygiene practices.  SPLASH is part of the USAID/Zambia Education Team’s portfolio that includes other projects designed to strengthen the MOE institutional, teacher and pupil performances, especially in reading achievement. SPLASH contributes by tackling student attendance and dropout rates, teacher attrition, and overall health and well-being.  SPLASH also aims to strengthen local operations and maintenance and management capacity by offering innovative solutions to commonly encountered technical and organizational problems, and linking school efforts to community development and ownership. (More about SPLASH)

Girls and female teachers are disproportionately affected by poor access to sanitation.  SPLASH’s comprehensive school-based menstrual hygiene management program trains teachers and provides them with materials for counseling and supporting girls and involving their families.  Schools are encouraged to stock sanitary pads along with other hygiene consumables, and girls’ latrines are equipped with washrooms.  

SPLASH embeds WASH in the MOE system.  The official School Monitoring Instrument now has an extensive WASH section that includes MHM and O&M, and WASH is part of the new curriculum.   SPLASH supports the integration through teacher in-service training and provision of materials.


Success Story: Falling in Love All Over Again. “Life in rural Zambia is unbearable.” This is the story that is always heard among newly trained teachers who are posted in rural areas. This reaction is due to the perception that rural schools have poor or inadequate water and sanitation facilities. Read more.
Let Kids Learn: Boosting Opportunity for Girls and Boys through WASH in Schools. Clean water, adequate sanitation and proper hygiene require appropriate facilities and an awareness of good practices. Through the SPLASH partnership, CARE International supports the construction of boreholes and sanitation facilities, while FHI 360 supports teacher training and curriculum development. Local ministries, nongovernmental organizations and communities take it from there. Read more.

Reports and Tools

  • WASH in Zambian Primary Schools: Essential Elements for Quality Education. Dr. Justin Lupele and Sarah Fry, SPLASH and WASHplus, FHI 360. A Presentation at the Comparative and International Education Society Conference 2015.
  • WASH-Friendly Schools: A Training Resource for SPLASH Use, 2014. The Training Guide for WASH-Friendly Schools and the companion Basic Guide is now a tested package that SPLASH has adapted and refined from country-specific models for use in schools, communities, governments, and organizations anywhere. The complementary guide is intended to be useful to those working for the benefit of children in resource-poor environments who, like children everywhere, have the right to a safe, clean, and welcoming school environment. It is envisioned that this guide will support the creation of an enabling environment to establish WASH-Friendly Schools.
  • Exploring the Potential of Schoolchildren as Change Agents in the Context of School WASH in Rural Zambia: Final Report, 2014. In this study, researchers explored the potential for children to be change agents for behavior change and technology adoption in their households. The work was conducted in the context of a school-based WASH program, SPLASH, funded by USAID| Zambia and managed by the USAID WASHplus project. Based on the results there are four major areas that SPLASH can target to encourage children to become change agents.
  • Baseline Survey: School WASH Facility AssessmentFebruary 2014. (pdf, 2.1MB)
  • Zambia Eastern Province WASH in Schools INDABA Whole System in the Room-Strategic Planning Workshop Report, 2012. (pdf, 916KB)
  • Menstrual Hygiene Management Mini-Toolbox for Teachers and Schools in Zambia, 2014. SPLASH (Schools Promoting Learning Achievement through Sanitation and Hygiene) Project.
    Menstrual Hygiene Management or MHM is an important component of a “WASH Friendly School”. As it is a new concept in schools, SPLASH is offering various kinds of support to teachers to help set up MHM programs and facilities to help keep girls and female teachers in school. This toolkit was designed to help classroom and guidance teachers, SHN coordinators, and other school personnel in Zambian primary schools who are carrying out menstrual hygiene management (MHM) programs or activities in their school. As MHM gets more established in schools, more and better tools will be developed and added to the toolkit. It should be considered a “work in progress”.

SPLASH in the News

Stories from the Field

Zambia - Falling in Love All Over Again

“Life in rural Zambia is unbearable.” This is the story that is always heard among newly trained teachers who are posted in rural areas. This reaction is due to the perception that rural schools have poor or inadequate water and sanitation facilities.  

More »


WASH Committees Spread Improved Hygiene Behaviors to Their Communities - December 2012 More »


Grade 5 Pupil Inspires His Family and Surrounding Community about Hand Washing - December 2012 More »


Zambia School WASH Indaba Brings Multiple Stakeholders Together - August 2012 More »

map of ZambiaZambia Quick Facts

Population (x1000) - 2012

  • 14,075

Water Access (Improved source)

  • 85% urban
  • 49% rural
  • 63% national total

Sanitation Access - 2010

  • 56% urban
  • 34% rural
  • 43% national total

Source: WHO/UNICEF JMP, 2014.

fhi360 care Winrock International

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