GIS-based mapping and improving of accessible water, sanitation , and hygiene (WASH) facilities
- Zambia Water Sanitation and Hygiene (ZWASH)
- World Vision
- Country of Implementation
- Subsaharan Africa
- Southern Region, Pemba District
- Start Year
- First published
“The ZWASH programme has opened my heart to ensure children have access to WASH facilities at their homes.” Luundu Mwanakasale, Teacher, Pemba Primary School
In 2009, World Vision, an international US-based NGO, launched ZWASH – a water, sanitation, and hygiene programme. The project maps toilet facilities in schools and health centres using GIS to assess the accessibility of latrine facilities for persons with disabilities. World Vision and other local authorities then analyse the data to create accessible toilets and WASH facilities where and how they are most needed. As of 2021 the programme has analysed 630 schools and 198 health facilities.
In Zambia adults and children with disabilities are not able to attend school or visit health facilities due to a lack of accessible toilets, water points, and sanitation facilities.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
ZWASH conducts GIS-based mapping to assess the accessibility of toilet facilities in schools and health centres in the country, and it especially maps those areas where facilities are not accessible. This data is made available through a web portal called mWater – a free, open-source data platform for managing water, sanitation, and health projects. This data is then used by World Vision and the ministries of Education and Health to prioritize work to make the toilets accessible. This work also involves WASH and community task groups that are comprised of people with disabilities. They ensure that facilities that have been adapted with jerry can tippers, toilet seats, and bathing seats are accessible to all. The GIS survey in 2020 covered 630 schools and 198 health facilities. The data is also being used and the methodology replicated by the Government of Zambia. Both the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education know which facilities are accessible in line with their policies, and they have started to address accessibility gaps. The ministries have also approved a design for accessible water points.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
World Vision combines funding from its ongoing long-term child sponsorship model with large institutional and private grants and uses this to fund the ZWASH programme. Since 2018 the project has spent nearly $19.2 million, including $9.3 million donated by private donors and $9.9 million from sponsorship and grants. Between 2024 and 2026, World Vision plans to continue this programme throughout Zambia and to extend it to Ghana, Honduras, and 40 other countries.