9 year old Stephany, is a student at Toribio Bustillo School in Tegucigalpa. She loves learning, but due to a lack of water her school often has to shut, damaging her education and her hopes for the future.
Despite its location in tropical Central America, Honduras has recently suffered from a series of consecutive droughts. This has had a significant impact both on access to water and education.
Less than half the schools in Tegucigalpa have access to the public water system. And only 47% of the city’s population is connected to the sewage system. This mean many people rely on low quality services provided by water delivery trucks. This is an extremely expensive alternative, often at 50 times the price of the public system.
Students like Stephany have often had to miss class as the school will shut to avoid health issues and epidemics such as diarrhea.
Renato Manzano, Director of the Toribio Bustillo Educational Center says “In the past, students would have brought their own water to clean their classrooms.”
Stephany says “We couldn’t wash our hands or flush the toilets, often we would go three months without water. But now thanks to GOAL, we can be sure our school will have water and I won’t miss any more classes.”
Over 3,250 students and teachers will directly benefit in this Honduran District. The project will improve the schools access to water and raise sanitary conditions. The project has been funded by staff from Bank of Ireland, and the Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) of USAID.
Director of GOAL Honduras, Luigi Loddo says “”GOAL has been working for many years in the education sector, mainly in strengthening emergency response capabilities, managing risks and strengthening the WASH approach within schools.”
The upgrades will enhance access to clean water and greatly improve sanitation standards and facilities. As a result less students will have to miss class due to illness. And children will finally have the opportunity to make the most their education.
As Covid-19 continues to spread across the world, the improved sanitation will also ensure that children, staff and their families are better protected from the virus.