5 March 2021

WASH’n’soul: World Toilet Day 2021 Event themed ‘Valuing a toilet’

The WASH’n’soul (Wns) project aims to make the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation a reality through improved access to sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services while systematically including climate protection. The target group for project implementation are the most vulnerable members of society: 20 schools and surrounding communities in Lusaka’s low-income peri-urban areas. The project focuses on sustainability by using a collaborative, multi-sectoral approach that focuses on behaviour change and health promotion, as well as establishing functioning processes and social businesses, combined with infrastructure improvement to address improved access to WASH and solid waste management services in schools and their surrounding communities. In year one of the project, activities are being implemented in six schools in Lima ward, of Lusaka’s peri-urban areas. These schools are George Central Government School, Lusaka City Council Community School, Peniel Community School, Mount Sinai Community School, Austerns Community School and People’s Will Community School.

This year the WASH’n’soul project celebrated World Toilet Day 2021, the BORDA Zambia team wanted to design an event that had the pupils at the centre. Messages on hygiene and sanitation, and the value of a toilet for the health of the community were shared with the pupils and other participants using art and games in this fun and participatory event.

We gathered with pupils from our year one partner schools and our colleagues from the District Education Board Secretariat in Lusaka, the Lusaka City Council, Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company and the Lima Ward Councillor’s office. Opening remarks were made by the Deputy Director of the Public Health Department at the Lusaka City Council, Mr Kachikoti Banda and the Lima Ward Area Councillor, Mr Daniel Mwewa.

A Zambian designer Mwape Fundanga was engaged to design the concept for a mural to be painted on the boundary wall of the Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company’s George site office. The painting of the mural started a few days before the event, and on the day, pupils were invited to join in the fun and help to paint some of the mural.

The images in the mural included messages on handwashing and the importance of having a lined and emptiable pit latrine. At the centre of the mural are the images of two women, meant to represent women as valuable and important members of a community and the role they play in the management of water supply and sanitation in the household. The phrase above and below the women ‘Chisamaleni chi mbuzi, Kuti mupewe matenda’, written in chi Nyanja one of Zambia’s main languages, meaning ‘Take care of a toilet, to prevent diseases/ outbreaks’ serve as a written message of the importance of valuing toilets as a community.

While some pupils were painting the mural and discussing the story boards and messages that it includes, other pupils were playing games and singing songs that incorporated messages of handwashing and hygiene, and also sanitation.

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