Sophie Ngassa – Best Hygiene and Sanitation Practices for Good Health and Education
The Best Hygiene and Sanitation Practices for Good Health and Education Project is an initiative of Leading Women in Water and Technology (LWWT), headed by Sophie Ngassa, co-led by Feka Parchibelle and Gabila Frank in Bamenda, Cameroon. LWWT is a forum for women in the community who convene and look into water and sanitation issues. They also learn, teach, share and exchange methods of water resource management to increase access to adequate and safe water, given that women are the primary stakeholders of water and sanitation in the household.
From observations working in the community on projects with youth especially young women, the project leaders noticed that children fall ill and miss classes due to poor hygienic conditions. Girls are absent from school during their periods, due to lack of toilets and inadequate sanitation in schools, bearing the brunt of poor health and the safety risks that arise when they are forced to look for corners to hide and defecate.
With this in mind, the goal of this project is to save lives by promoting best hygienic and sanitation practices in primary schools, providing lifesaving WASH skills, and building capacity on the use and maintenance of latrines, hand washing methods, and personal hygiene.
The project leaders and LWWT members strongly believe that bringing WASH training to school children aged 9 to 11 (including girls who have reached menstrual age), sanitation prefects, health club members, and school administrators will reduce the number of children that are absent from school due to ill health.