Ensuring environmentally friendly access to WASH in schools

Six technical middle schools in rural and peri-urban areas in the Mexican state of Morelos will have clean water and decentralized sanitation systems thanks to the SWASH project done by Sarar Transformación, SC, TAO de Tepoztlan, AC and FANMex.

 

This project has been possible with funding of the IFC Initiative “Access to Water for All”. It also has the collaboration of the Basic Education Institute and the Sustainable Development Department of Morelos and the Quetzalatl Brigades. This project is in its final implementation stage, with the building of infrastructure to obtain clean water and improve the sanitation systems. Among the installed systems are rainwater harvesting systems (includes rainwater channeling from existing roofs, rainwater filtering and storage in geomembrane cisterns), water stations including drinking water filtering systems, handwashing stations, sinks and greywater management with biofilters and mulch systems.

 

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Besides the infrastructure installation, the project aims to make conscience on the implications in daily life of the right to water and sanitation and the decentralized water and sanitation systems as a way to make it happen. In order to achieve this, through all the process participatory assessment, planning and training workshops were held and a communication campaign developed, designed jointly by students and teachers, which includes a the play “A place for every thing and everything in its place” and the production of  a video by school staff, students and parents.

 

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The schools favored by this project are: Secundaria Técnica 3 of Amacuzac, Secundaria Técnica 16 of Huitzilac, Secundaria Técnica 14 of Jiutepec, Secundaria Técnica 42 of Jiutepec, Secundaria Técnica 32 of Santa Catarina and Secundaria Técnica 06 of Tlayacapan. The population directly benefitted is of 3,000 persons, being students, teachers and school staff and in a second level the communities itself, as the students pass on what they have learned to their neighbors.

 

This program, which ends this June, has a great potential of replication in different educational spaces and of being an effective way for dealing with the present water and sustainable sanitation crisis, on a state and national level.