Many girls in the Solomon Islands are unable to attend school regularly because school toilet facilities lack running water, privacy and are not designed to meet the needs of females. The Turn on the Tap project addresses inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure and knowledge in a range of primary and secondary schools. Partnerships with local school leaders, education authorities and local businesses in the Western islands boosts access to fresh water, clean toilets, low-cost menstrual products and effective hygiene education. This enables boys and girls to have an equal opportunity to life changing education.
“We had a lack of water,” says Mary*, a student at an Adventist boarding school. “Girls had to wake up every morning at 5am and walk 1.5km downhill to fetch water from a small stream for drinking, cooking, washing and to bath. More time was taken just to walk to get water and we spent little time in the classroom.”
Girls were also skipping school during their period, as there weren’t adequate facilities near the school. Through the Turn on the Tap Project, ADRA supported Mary’s school by providing two 5,000L water tanks with tap stands, one male and one female toilet block near the classroom building, and hand washing facilities.
“We can now fetch water close by without having to walk kilometres to get water during critical times. Now, we can go to class on time!” says Mary.
*Name changed to protect privacy