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launch of Fit for School in tanzANIA

Handwashing in Tansania

During the celebrations of the Global Handwashing Day on 15th of October 2015 the Fit for School Programme in Tanzania was launched. Since 2012 the GIZ Water Programme has been working to transfer the Fit for School approach to the East African Country.

The objective of Fit for School is to improve the health of primary school children by introducing simple and evidence-based group activities. It was first started in the Philippines and is currently implemented in four Southeast Asian countries. For the first time the approach is now first tested in an African setting with an entirely different cultural and institutional context. The first phase starts with the introduction of daily group handwashing with soap in 20 primary schools. These simple handwashing activities require a lot of management efforts from the schools which have to ensure that soap and water are available. The strengthening of school-based management is therefore another important component of the FIT approach.

Most sanitation facilities in Tanzania are poorly maintained due to lack of funds or poor operation and maintenance. Through regular monitoring activities from local governments, parents and teachers this is supposed to change. The introduction of Fit for School also entails the rehabilitation of sanitation facilities in the 20 pilot schools in Dar es Salaam and Moshi. After trainings for local governments, communities and teachers the National School WASH coordinator inaugurated the first group handwashing facilities in Moshi on 15th of October. School WASH clubs from all pilot schools in the region attended the event and contributed with different performances around the topics of health and hygiene.

Since August Tanzania is suffering from a cholera outbreak which shows again the importance of innovative approaches like Fit for School. The testing phase is carried out in cooperation with the Tanzanian Ministry of Education and Vocational Training and UNICEF. The Tanzanian water programme benefits from knowledge transfer with GIZ colleagues in the Philippines.

Click below to watch the Global Handwashing Day video. For more information about Fit for School in Tanzania read the Factsheet.