Over 400 school students at the Arya Kanya Pathshala School in Ba, in Fiji’s Western division, will now benefit from a new ablution block which includes new toilets, hand washing and shower facilities, following its opening in Ba today.

The ablution block has been constructed through the European Union (EU) funded Micro Projects Programme (MPP), implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC). The facilities were opened by the Deputy Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Sakeasi Waikere.

The SPC-EU MPP project is working to rehabilitate damaged Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities in selected schools in Fiji’s sugarcane belt communities in Ra, Ba, Tavua and Lautoka which were severely impacted by Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016.

“The European Union is pleased to support the MPP project, particularly its WASH component which improves access to safe and disaster resilient WASH facilities for up to 34 schools and their communities within the sugar belt area following the devastation of Tropical Cyclone Winston two years ago. Clean and children-friendly WASH facilities with regular awareness help minimise the incidence of hygiene-related health issues, improve attendance in school and even learning outcomes for girls and boys,” said Emmanuelle Guiheneuf, Head of Economic Cooperation and Agriculture Section of the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific.

SPC Director General Dr Colin Tukuitonga said: “Over 6,000 students in the target schools will benefit directly from the projects’ actions to construct new ablution blocks. Of this, there is an almost equal ratio of boys and girls. For instance, at Arya Kanya Pathshala, the previous ratio was 44 students to each WC and this is improved to 25 students to each WC with the construction of the new block being opened here today. This is very much needed for a school of its size. Access to improved sanitation facilities such as this and improved hygiene practices, along with access to clean water will result in healthier outcomes for all involved.”

The Micro Projects Programme (MPP) is a five-year project which started in October 2013 and will run until June 2018. The EUR 4.3 million project is funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC). The Pacific Community is delivering a number of projects that are funded by the European Union’s Accompanying Measures for Sugar Protocol (AMSP) Programme, across Fiji’s sugarcane belt. MPP is one of these projects, covering Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), rural electrification and hydrological surveys.

Media contacts:
Debbie Singh, SPC Sugar Projects Communications Specialist │ Email: [email protected]