School sanitation: the neglected development link
WaterAid in Nepal's photo exhibition
School Sanitation: the neglected development link
explored how a lack of basic sanitation services in schools affects education in
the Kathmandu Valley area.
Selected photos from the exhibition are featured in this slideshow:
It is essential to build more toilets for school children so that they do not get sick and can focus on their studies. Our public photo exhibition is just the first step of our school sanitation campaign.
Ashutosh Tiwari, WaterAid’s Country Representative in Nepal
The exhibition was staged in conjunction with local journalists at the Nepal Art Council Gallery in Kathmandu in
August 2011 as part of a campaign to call on the government to provide adequate toilet facilities for schools.
According to Nepal government policy, schools must ensure there is one toilet for every 50 students. However, WaterAid’s research shows that the average school toilet serves 127 students, nearly three times as many as the government recommends. Of Nepal’s 28,000 community schools, only 18,000 have toilets – with only 5580 providing separate toilets for girls.
Every year in Nepal, 10,500 children under the age of five die due to diseases related to unsafe water and poor sanitation. Every month teenage girls risk missing several days of class during their menstrual period or, worse, dropping out of school altogether because of a lack of toilet facilities, further entrenching the barriers caused by gender inequality. It is estimated that nearly two million female students have no access to toilets in school.
WaterAid is calling for immediate action to be taken to provide separate toilets for girls and boys in schools, including access for disabled students and facilities to enable girls to hygienically manage their menstruation.
Ashutosh Tiwari, WaterAid’s Country Representative in Nepal, said: “Every child has a right to sanitation, and a lack of adequate facilities has a negative impact on education, health, dignity, security and economic growth.
“It is essential to build more toilets for school children so that they do not get sick and can focus on their studies. Our public photo exhibition is just the first step of our school sanitation campaign.”