The MENTOR Initiative Support to Increase Access to Safe Drinkable Water in Angola

According to the World Bank, only 55.8% of the population in Angola were using at least basic drinking water services[1]. The lack of access to water affects mostly rural populations and hampers access to water of school children in Angola.

According to a recent survey conducted by the Provincial Department of Education in Huambo, only 173 out of the total 1190 schools of the province (15%) have water points available within the school grounds. In Uige, only 24 of the 216 schools that are in the municipalities in which the MENTOR project operates, have water points within the school grounds.

The MENTOR initiative, as a partner of the Government of Angola, has been implementing school-based integrated WASH-NTD programmes in three provinces across Angola: Huambo, Uíge and Zaire, since 2015.

Since the start of project implementation in 2014, MENTOR has provided primary schools with hygiene kit items (5L and 20L jerry-cans and 80L buckets), that allow them to transport and store water from nearby sources (streams, wells in nearby villages etc) to the school grounds, so students can practice basic hygiene practices like handwashing or maintain safe sanitation condition by cleaning regularly the school grounds or flushing the toilets.

Recognizing that in some schools’ water access needed dedicated interventions, MENTOR has supported the construction 19 boreholes (18 with hand-pump system and 1 with solar pump system) since January 2020, in partnership with World Vision (17) and Development Workshop (2).  benefitting a total of 207 teachers and 16838 students. In addition, because of this partnership, 3 existing boreholes were rehabilitated, benefitting 30 teachers and 2612 students. The construction of boreholes included training of teachers, students and community members in boreholes maintenance and management of water points, as well as training on basic WASH concepts.

As current WASH interventions come to an end in Angola, MENTOR will advocate for increased access to safe water in Angola. Combined with other public health interventions, improving access to water – and consequently to handwashing – can help reduce the burden of diarrhoeal diseases and parasitic infections such as soil transmitted helminths and Schistosomiasis. MENTOR will strive to strengthen existing partnerships to scale up current work and scale up access to safe, drinkable water.