The “Reaching the Unreached” water, sanitation, and hygiene project in Sri Lanka has reached a significant milestone in its third year, 2020, by completing 81 Rural Water Schemes in Schools which will provide safe and adequate water to the students. These 81 Schools are located in the most remote and unreached areas with less than basic facilities for their education development. In addition to the safe and adequate Water Systems, the project interventions also included upgrading of Toilets with running water so that the students are able to use a clean and hygienically constructed Toilet unit.
Solidaridad initiated a ground-breaking intervention through this RTU project in providing Incinerators to the school toilets to help the adult girl-students with their Menstrual Health Management practices. The incinerators will encourage the use and proper disposal of sanitary napkins to adult girl students. This initiative has greatly improved the regular school attendance of the students who menstruate, without interruption and a behavioral and attitudinal change towards menstrual health issues.
With the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic, and Sri Lanka’s successful efforts towards combating the pandemic, Solidaridad’s WASH project gained much recognition from the National and Provincial government stakeholders for being proactive in providing facilities for Hand Washing, improved hygiene and linking with behavioral change practices among students and communities in the remotest areas of the country.
2020 has been a challenging year for Solidaridad and its partners implementing the RTU project interventions in Sri Lanka due to the COVID 19 lockdown. However, the team has managed to overcome obstacles and will provide improved WASH facilities to 236 unreached schools, Estates and Villages through the Reaching the Unreached (RTU) Project.
The project is funded by the European Union, and implemented through Solidaridad and two local implementing organizations; The Institute for Social Development (ISD) and Nucleus Foundation (NF).