Adolescent Girl Empowerment through Capacity Building and Water Innovation in Northern Mozambique

Local partner


With our local partner, Girl Move Academy, based in Nampula, Northern Mozambique, together we are testing a new gender equality and WASH capacity building programme focusing on the principles of permaculture, leadership in adolescent girls and community engagement in Bairro Marrere, Nampula, Northern Mozambique. The interlinkages of water, health, gender, innovation and education will be investigated, building a resilient and inclusive school environment that ensures safe learning atmosphere for students (particularly girls, ages 12-15) in the context of COVID-19 and beyond.

Outcomes – Stories from Participants

WASH Situation in Mozambique

With a Gini coefficient of 0.56, Mozambique has strong social and economic inequalities, with a lack of education, health, employment opportunities and reduced access to basic services such as electricity, water and sanitation. According to UNICEF, despite significant progress over the years, only half of Mozambicans have access to improved water supply and less than a quarter (one in five) use improved sanitation facilities.

Lack of systematic maintenance, low investment and unclear institutional mandates have hindered WASH service delivery. The same applies to schools, where improvements to WASH infrastructure are needed: running water is uncommon and usually the latrines are not enough for the number of students attending the school.

The Mozambican Strategic Education Plan 2020-2029 recognizes that schools are still a long way from providing a safe and favorable environment for human development and protection of the rights of children in general and of girls in particular, highlighting the need to pay more attention to the specific needs of girls, at all levels of the education sector. Lack of water and safe bathrooms at school are still factors of insecurity for girls.

Additionally, according to the Mozambique ESP/PEE Appraisal Report of 2020, even though the participation rates of Mozambican girl students in primary are better than in many schools in Sub-Saharan Africa, their academic performance lags. Particularly, the need for adolescent girls to have access to functional WASH facilities is highlighted, as being critical to their regular participation in schooling, in both final primary and secondary grades.

Delivery of Testing Process : May to December 2021

Capacity Building Workshops

Rooted in the Principles of Permaculture

100 Adolescent Girls

(ages 12-15)

2 Committed Schools

Waterlution and Girl Move Academy will design and deliver capacity building workshops, rooted in the principles of permaculture, for 100 adolescent girls (ages 12-15) from two committed schools, about the realities of those most affected by lack of water access and non-existent, very poor sanitation conditions in schools that negatively impacts girls school attendance and dignity.

Together, we will test several training methods (with COVID-19 reality in mind) that include virtual workshops, as well as safely spaced out demonstrations in small groups to support knowledge expansion on current water system at the schools, knowledge transfer, community building and practical hands-on learning rooted in permaculture that brings a systems-thinking approach together aligning WASH with local small-scale agriculture.

Importantly, the design and implementation of the workshops places adolescent girls at the centre of the entire approach as it included school girl input right from the start, it makes the assumption that girls can and want to be part of solutions that benefit their community, and that learning new skills (water management and permaculture) will build their capacity to work together to assess what options, solutions could positively enhance their lives. Building capacity, focused on the short term on improving sanitation in schools, offers those involved the ability to use newly acquired knowledge and skills into practice, if they choose, after the testing period. However, the skills and knowledge acquired can have longer term benefits, assisting with future income generating opportunities.

We will be posting updates on social media and here on our website as the workshops unfold.

Testing Lead:
Dawn Fleming