Water as catalyst for peace and development

World Water Day 2024 is an important event focused on raising awareness about the significance of water as a catalyst for peace and sustainable development. As part of this initiative, the Terre des hommes (Tdh) team in Nigeria is planning to organise a campaign in 13 hands4health intervention schools in Borno State. 

The primary objective of this campaign is to educate schoolchildren about the vital role water plays in promoting peace and sustainable development globally. Engaging with schoolchildren at a young age, Tdh aims to instill a sense of responsibility towards water conservation and management, fostering a generation that values and protects this precious resource for the future. Through interactive activities, educational sessions, and awareness-sensitisation, the campaign seeks to empower schoolchildren to become advocates for water sustainability in their communities and beyond. This grassroots approach not only educates the youth but also has the potential to create a ripple effect, inspiring positive change and collective action towards a more water-secure world. 

Implementation achievements

The implementation achievements of the hands4health intervention in Nigeria are ongoing and include many highlights, some of which are presented below:

  • 26 Gravit’eau handwashing stations have been installed in the 13 intervention schools of the project (2 stations per school).
  • RANAS behaviour change activities have been implemented in all intervention schools: 2 activities in July, before the summer break, and 1 activity in September, after the summer break. In total, 1,300 children were reached. 
  • Midline data collection took place in November and showed a solid positive impact of the hands4health intervention (Gravit’eau and behavior change campaigns) compared to control schools. 
  • WASH infrastructure (drinking water, toilets) has been assessed and rehabilitation is underway. This includes, for instance, the rehabilitation of water systems in schools. 
  • Chlorination activities (including training of school teachers) will start after these improvements have been completed. 
  • The preventive maintenance approach is being tested in the intervention schools. These schools have received cleaning materials for the daily maintenance of sanitation facilities. So far, 52 teachers were trained on the preventive maintenance of Gravit’eau stations and WASH facilities, and the capacities of 26 school base management committees have been improved.
  • The hands4health project has been presented to WASH sector/cluster partners and further meetings will take place in July, November and December 2024, also including representatives from the ministries and SUBEB (State Universal Basic Education Board). An informative project flyer including highlights from the baseline and implementation phases is available here.  

As for next steps, the Tdh Nigeria team will finalise the implementation phase, carry out the endline data collection and then replicate the intervention package to the control group.