Water and Sanitation
Waterborne bacteria, such as those causing diarrhoea and typhoid, are widespread in Tajikistan, especially in rural areas. Yet, schools often do not possess a regular water supply, and children are drinking water from ditches. Many schools likewise lack sanitation facilities or the existing facilities are old and in need of substantial repair.
Through the school-based hygiene and sanitation project, UNICEF is bringing fresh, potable water into selected schools by financing the digging of wells and the installation of child-friendly pumps. It is also improving sanitation facilities in the schools. Separate lavatories are being constructed for girls and boys. Heating problems are likewise being addressed in some places.
The project offers children numerous opportunities to participate in promoting hygiene and sanitation in their households, schools and communities.
Brightly coloured pictures are being painted on outside walls at schools with reminders of the importance of safe water and cleanliness. Classrooms are being set aside for water and sanitation initiatives, with exhibits for the children that illustrate good sanitation, the proper functioning of latrines and ways to avoid unhealthy practices. The exhibits are often created by the children themselves.
When the Varzob River flooded Dushanbe in the summer of 2004, UNICEF and its partners helped the Government respond to water shortages, water contamination and typhoid. This effort continued in 2005.
The living conditions of thousands of children have been improved thanks to efforts by UNICEF and its partners to bring safe water and sanitary facilities to schools.
The UNICEF school-based hygiene and sanitation project has encouraged many girls to return to school whose families were disturbed by the condition of school buildings. The project has also certainly prevented the spread of typhoid among schoolchildren.
The following are among other UNICEF initiatives in water and sanitation:
• Secondary school students are being taught how to test the quality of water with simple-to-use kits.