A New Dawn for Choshi Primary School in Rural Zambia

WaterAid/ Chileshe Chanda
1 Oct 2018

Photo: WaterAid/ Chileshe Chanda

Choshi Primary School is located north of Chinsali town center with a total population of 421 pupils, translating to 213 boys and 208 girls. Before Vision Africa Regional Network’s (VAREN) intervention and the support of its implementing partners, the school only had four drop holes against 421 pupils. It is a single stream school having pupils from grade one to seven. The school had no deliberate programme concerning sanitation and hygiene education for pupils. In addition, the sanitation facilities at this school were inadequate. As a result, pupils opted to go to the nearby bushes defecate. This was confirmed during the triggering process, where faeces were found around the school premises.

VAREN handwashing
Photo: Vision Africa Regional Network

Pupils and Parents Share Their Joy

Grace, a 14 year old student at Choshi Primary School could not hold her joy. She said:

"The coming of VAREN to our school has really changed things for the better. Before the construction of the new toilets most of us used to answer the call of nature in the nearby bushes. As a result of this intervention, our attitude as pupils towards sanitation and hygiene has tremendously changed as noticed from the number of us using latrines for defecation as well as practicing hand-washing with soap at the multiple hand washing facility constructed for us."

Menstrual Hygiene Management at Choshi

The pupils are very happy to have received the knowledge about Menstrual Hygiene Management. The skills and knowledge they received has encouraged the pupils of this school, especially girls who are menstruating.

"Menstrual hygiene management is the first of its kind to be introduced at Choshi Primary School. Before the introduction of this programme, our girls were subjected to stay home for seven days without attending lessons. This led to most girls not attending school and resort to early marriage.

VAREN MHM
Photo: Vision Africa Regional Network

About VAREN

Vision Africa Regional Network (VAREN) in Zambia was commissioned in 2008 in order to respond to a national and global context characterised by both persistent problems and major changes, which significantly threaten the quality of life of the peri–urban and rural communities.

VAREN has worked on and has provided support for a variety of issues including:

  • Access to quality health services including maternal health, sexual reproductive health and rights, HIV/AIDS prevention and malaria prevention,
  • Food security and nutrition,
  • Improved access to water and sanitation,
  • Households and small-scale farmers,
  • Community managed savings and credit schemes,
  • Promote land use, preservation, restoration, resource and environment protection.
  • Empowerment of communities with governance skills to track their own development process and make their leaders accountable,
  • Advocating for policy changes to cover the marginalised groups including women, children and people with disabilities.

See VAREN's documentary on their activities during Water Action Month 2018.