Support My School: Supporting Schools in Northern Sri Lanka with Access to Water and Sanitation Facilities

Funded by: The Coca Cola Foundation (TCCF)

Implemented by: UN-Habitat

Partners: Local Governments, Local Authorities, Rural Development Foundation (RDF), Community Based Organizations and Communities

Budget: USD 100,000

Locations: Poonakary DS Division, Killinochchi district, Northern Province, Sri Lanka

Duration: 12 months

Project Purpose

This Project will contribute towards a durable water and sanitation solution by introducing sustainable use of water through rainwater harvesting and water and sanitation (WATSAN) facilities in selected resource-poor schools in Killinochchi District in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province. The project will target schools that do not currently have adequate WATSAN facilities. This action will provide school children and teachers with proper access to WATSAN facilities through rain water harvesting facilities and promote good health and hygiene habits amongst the school children, teachers and the community.


Killinochchi district is located in the Northern Province within the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka. The District has been badly affected by the three decades of conflict and is one of the least developed in the country.

Annual rainfall in Killinochchi District varies from 1,250–1,500 mm. However, the area experiences heavy rains during the North East monsoon season. Villages in Killinochchi have been affected by the 30 year conflict, resulting in damage to infrastructure such as schools, houses, water supply systems and common buildings. A large number of schools have inadequate WATSAN facilities and little access to permanent water sources throughout the year, posing a challenge to school authorities to provide durable Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities to school children.

Project Description

The proposed project will support selected public schools in Poonakary DS Division of Killinochchi District with a focused water and sanitation solution, providing school children with sanitary toilets, hand washing areas and a sustainable water supply through rain water harvesting units.

Currently, Poonakary DS Division has 28 Government schools. At the inception of the project, UN-Habitat will conduct a detailed assessment of the schools and select the most vulnerable, resource-poor schools most in need of WASH and RWH assistance. After selection, UN-Habitat, in close collaboration with the zonal education authorities in the Northern Province, school authorities and other project partners, will implement the project activities over a 12 month period.

Project methodology

The project will be implemented using a “people’s process” of construction. The people’s process gives the family and the community, power, skills, knowledge and experience to control the process of reconstruction. It is expected that the communities will contribute some of their time and labour towards the initiative. The people’s process of construction also ensures that as much as possible, local labour and building materials are used. This positively contributes to the growth of the local economy.

Project Activities

  • Identify schools that require improved WASH facilities and are willing to collaborate with and contribute to the project.
  • Mobilise children to form eco-clubs, build their capacity, and prepare action plans, and initiate school and community based programmes targeted at raising awareness.
  • Support the clubs and the schools in improving its sports and WASH facilities within the school, including rain water harvesting and recharge system and child friendly toilet facilities, hand wash stations for girls and boys.
  • Assist schools in creating a healthy and active environment for children through investment in sports activities.
  • Share experiences through media and social marketing campaigns to promote improved WASH facilities and ground water recharging activities.

Expected Project Outputs:

  • Approx. 9 RWH units constructed.
  • Approx. 4-5 new toilet blocks constructed.
  • Approx. 9 hand washing stations constructed.
  • Approx. 9 toilet blocks repaired.
  • Approx. 2,000 school children with improved knowledge on health and hygiene
  • Approx. 2,000 school children have improved sports and recreational facilities.