Tag Archives: school sanitation

Nepal – Talking about menstruation

KATHMANDU, Sept 25: Nepal has come a long way in recent history in terms of gender equality, but if there is one issue that is still under a silent veil its menstruation. The taboos and lack of information regarding the monthly bleedings is slowly being addressed in schools.

“In Nepal, the main issue is embarrassment and lack of information about how to take care of your menstruation in a healthy and hygienic way,” says Anna Guiney, project officer of Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) under UNICEF.

The silence and embarrassment goes hand in hand with feelings of being dirty and impure and transcends school and life at home. In retelling her experience, 24 year old Shreejana Bajracharya says, “My mom didn’t teach me anything. I’m the oldest daughter in the family and when I first got my period I was scared.”

Despite having older female cousins, Shreejana was in no way informed about what was happening to her body and felt alone in her experience. “My mom didn’t explain it properly, if my younger sisters saw I had blood on my clothes my mother didn’t explain it to them either. I felt like something was wrong with me and I was the only one going through it.”

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WEDC – Inclusive design of school latrines

Briefing Note 1: Inclusive design of school latrines – how much does it cost and who benefits? WEDC, July 2011.

Download Full-text (pdf)

WEDC research shows that the additional cost of making a school latrine accessible is less than 3% of the overall costs of the latrine.

  • The most cost-effective way to improve access for children with disabilities is to incorporate accessibility into the design from the outset (inclusive design) rather than making expensive changes later.
  • Inclusive design means a user-friendly, child-friendly design, which benefits all users, including adolescent girls, small children, and children who are sick.
  • However well designed the latrine, other factors such as location, distance and approach path affect accessibility and need to be part of planning and design.

Bangladesh: BRAC video shows importance of school sanitation for girls

This new 9 minute video shows how BRAC is addressing high absenteeism rates among female students through a water, sanitation and hygiene programme in nearly 3,000 schools across rural Bangladesh. The programme includes menstrual hygiene facilties.

[Female students] have expressed that something so simple like as a sanitary latrine can change their entire educational experience.

The video was directed and edited by Sara Liza Baumann of Old Fan Films.

Nepal: School Sanitation, the neglected development link (video)

Photos from the opening of the photo exhibition. NGO Forum

WaterAid Nepal has produced this video as part of its campaign “School Sanitation: The Neglected Development Link”. Minister for Education and Sports, Gangalal Tuladhar, launched the campaign on 11 August 2011 by opening a photo exhibition at the Nepal Art Council, Babarmahal in Kathmandu.

Web site: WaterAid Nepal

Philippines: an inspiring ‘toilet tale’

His childhood experience with ill-equipped schools in the provinces inspired businessman Napoleon Co to build toilets for poor Muslim and Christian kids in Mindanao.

Children visitors can now use the newly-completed restroom of the KRIS Peace Library

Children visitors can now use the newly-completed restroom (inset) of the Kristiyano-Islam (KRIS) Peace Library instead of the bushes

Napoleon Co, owner of construction superstore chain Home Depot remembers the restrooms in his elementary school:

“Feces were splattered over the cracked tiles, and water barely spewed out of the broken faucets”.

Co admitted to holding the call of nature until he got home as a child— an unfortunate habit he found hard to break while studying in provincial schools in Cebu.

“Tending to withhold bowel movement for years as a child, I was 14 years old when I started seeing pools of blood whenever I used the toilet. Until I was about 35, the hemorrhage did not stop,” he laments.

He vowed never to let his children experience the same thing.

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Join the online debate on WASH in Schools

From 7 April to 6 May 2011 IRC and UNICEF are organising a web-based debate on four topics around what we can do to improve water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in schools in the developing world. Right now less than half of all primary schools have access to safe water and just over a third have adequate sanitation in countries where data are available.

Outcomes of this discussion will feed into a European Call for Action on WASH in Schools that is scheduled on 24 and 25 May in The Hague. The international Call to Action for WASH in Schools campaign was launched in 2010 calling on decision-makers to increase investments and on concerned stakeholders to plan and act in cooperation, so that all children go to a school with child-friendly water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.

To learn more go to: www.source.irc.nl/page/62851 or go straight to the online debate.

Sarah Bramley – Education and WASH sectors find new synergies on World Water Day

by Sarah Bramley, WASHplus Project, CARE

Photo credit: PATH

On World Water Day, a day on which people around the world joined together to recognize the importance of safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and hygiene education (WASH), I spent the morning thinking about the number of children who do not have access to these basic necessities at school. Therese Dooley, Senior WASH Advisor for UNICEF once said, “Currently, investment [in schools] can be quite low, and sometimes WASH in schools falls between the cracks…we just need to make sure there is funding allocated and that it does get priority.”[1]

Addressing improvements to water and sanitation in schools has been elevated on the global stage in the last several years. However, more often than not, theseconversations have been missing a key component: key stakeholders in the education sector. The creation of silos between WASH and education has been occurring for years due to funding. All too often grants are awarded with so many guidelines they can only be used for either improvements in WASH or for educational development, which make program collaboration difficult. There are often stipulations that educational funding can’t be used to improve water and sanitation services at school.

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