The 2018 School Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (SWASH) Assessment is the first comprehensive, nationally representative survey of primary and secondary schools was launched here, recently.
Speaking at the launch, government statistician general, Dr Albina Chuwa said the survey was designed to provide information about the status of safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and hygiene facilities as well as appropriate hygiene practices in Tanzania.
The results from the survey indicates that 68.2 per cent of the schools have an improved source of drinking water.
Schools in urban areas seem to have better access to an improved source of drinking water than schools in rural areas having 84.2 per cent against 63.8 respectively.
The most common improved sources of drinking water in Tanzania schools are water piped into school premises at 29.5 per cent, tube wells or boreholes at 12.1 per cent and protected wells,9.8 per cent.
Seventy-six per cent of primary schools with drinking water sources in Tanzania provide drinking water to the youngest children in the school.
“Two thirds of the primary and secondary schools with drinking water sources have made it possible for pupils with limited mobility or vision to access drinking water at school.” Reads the report.
Classified with respect to the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) ladders for WASH in Schools, more than half of schools in Tanzania ,55.3 per cent had basic drinking water services.
Seven out of ten schools in urban areas or 70.5 per cent had basic water services, while slightly more than half of the rural based schools 1.0 per cent had basic water services.
High regional variations were noticed and the percentage of schools with basic water services ranged from 29.7 per cent in Songwe Region to 91.9 per cent in Kusini Pemba Region.
Thirteen per cent of schools had limited water services, meaning that they had improved sources but water was not available at the time of the assessment.
On the other hand, 31.8 per cent of schools had no water services, meaning that they either relied on unimproved sources, such as unprotected dug wells, unprotected springs/surface water, or had no water services at all.
The survey further established that two third of schools in Tanzania, being 67.3 per cent, did not treat their water prior to drinking. For the schools that treated water, the most common methods used were chlorination about 50.4 per cent and boiling about 39.3 per cent.
On sanitation services, the report shows that eighty-nine per cent of the schools had improved toilet facilities, regardless of quality.
The three most common types of toilet facilities in Tanzanian schools, according to the survey were pit latrine with washable slabs ,41.8 per cent, flush to pit latrines ,19.7 per cent and ventilated improved pit latrines at 14. per cent.
“Less than one per cent of schools in Tanzania were found to have no toilet facilities. Thirty per cent of schools had basic sanitation services or improved single-sex sanitation facilities usable at the time of the assessment”. States the report
Slightly more than a half of schools in urban areas, being 51.0 per cent had basic sanitation services compared to 24.3 per cent of schools in rural areas.
In addition, 58.4 per cent of schools were providing limited sanitation services, had improved facilities that were either not single sex or not usable.
Thirteen per cent of schools owned by the government had no sanitation services compared to only 2.4 per cent of non-government schools. Schools without sanitation services either relied on unimproved facilities, such as pit latrines without a slab, or had no sanitation facility at all.
Schools in rural areas were more likely to have no sanitation services than schools in urban areas at 13.4 per cent and 4.0 per cent, respectively.
On hygiene services, six out of ten schools equivalent to 63.8 per cent of schools, in Tanzania had handwashing facilities. Urban schools (75.3 per cent) were more likely to have handwashing facilities than rural schools (60.6 per cent).
“The coverage of basic hygiene services in Tanzania was low at 17.6 per cent as only approximately two out of ten schools had handwashing facilities with soap and water available at the time of the survey” reads part of the report.
Government-owned schools had a smaller percentage of schools with basic hygiene services 14.4 per cent), compared to schools owned by non-government institutions at 9.0 per cent.
Significant variations in the availability of basic hygiene services in schools were found across regions, ranging from 1.4 per cent in Songwe Region to 47.2 per cent in Kilimanjaro.