Safely managed Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) resources are an essential part of ensuring human health, well-being and preventing infectious diseases. The COVID-19 pandemic has reiterated the need of the critical importance of WASH for containing disease outbreaks.
PHIA Foundation initiated the Swachh Bachpan, Muskurata Bachpan (SBMB) project in 2019, with support from UNICEF Bihar, to improve and strengthen WASH in schools and Anganwadis in Bihar. The project has been extending technical assistance to Bihar Education Project Council (BEPC) to enhance capacities of various stakeholders in creating a healthy learning environment for children by increasing functional water and sanitation coverage in schools and developing hygiene sensibilities in children – an indispensable criterion for school safety during this pandemic.
The interventions under SBMB are designed to address different aspects of WASH through building capacities of various stakeholders, improving infrastructural facilities, strengthening synergies with other WASH initiatives and promoting social and behavioural changes at both individual and community levels.
According to WHO and UNICEF guidelines, in order for schools to reopen and operate safely, they had to adopt a series of preventive measures such as regular handwashing with soap and water, daily disinfection, temperature checks, wearing masks and basic drinking water and sanitation facilities.
- To support BEPC in preparing and rolling out Swachhta Action Plan for schools to enlist gaps in WASH infrastructure and hygiene behaviours
- To leverage convergence for improving WASH infrastructure and tools in schools and AWCs
- To ensure COVID compliance including COVID Appropriate Behaviour in schools and AWCs for safe re-opening
- To facilitate nomination of project intervention schools for Bihar Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar
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