The communal school for rural development (ESUDER) in Vilanculos wishes to establish a programme on water and sanitation (WATSAN), as there is a strong sense of urgency in Mozambique to improve the availability of clean water and sanitation services. In collaboration with Dutch partners, a four-year programme project has been proposed to support the establishment of the programme.
The use of infrastructure for clean water and sanitation in rural areas of Mozambique is so minimal as to be a matter of grave concern. At the same time, it is clear that the availability of clean water and adequate sanitation services contributes to general quality of life, local productivity, prevention of disease and education for all children, including girls. In the current situation, there is a lack of trained local experts in the area of water sanitation. People need to be trained and successfully introduced into the labour market. A related challenge lies in the current gender imbalance in the public higher education sector in Mozambique. Women play important roles in household management and child education, as well as in the issues related to water, hygiene and health in the community.
The project aims to improve the quality of service in the management of water and sanitation initiatives and to increase the number of competent water and sanitation graduates at the university level.
In August 2010, an exploratory mission was conducted by a delegation from UNESCO-IHE and Delft University of Technology, out resulting in the formation of a consortium consisting of UNESCO-IHE, Vitens-Evides International and Delft University of Technology. The different areas of expertise and extensive experience with WATSAN projects in Mozambique make this a strong consortium that can rely on a broad network in the area.
In order to establish a new four-year programme on water and sanitation, the ESUDER communal school for rural development needs to develop a new curriculum, train its lecturers, get access to infrastructure and equipment for implementation, and forge links between the school and the WATSAN sector.
The main activities in curriculum development and staff development will take place in the first 2.5 years of the project, during which local staff will be selected, trained and recruited. The input from the consortium will slowly decrease, emphasizing educational skills, sustainability of the new programme and involvement of the stakeholders to the end of the project. At the end, the project will conclude with a workshop, once two complete cohorts of the new WATSAN course have been taught.