Water and Sanitation

Water and Sanitation

 

Water and Sanitation

10 years old boy, Umar. Khatlon province, Bokhtar district, Secondary School No 43 .

Issue

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.

Action

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.

Impact

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.
Around 90,000 children in 150 schools have been provided access to a child-friendly learning environment through the introduction of child-friendly water supply points constructed on the premises of their schools and connected to the central water supply system.
Approximately 30,000 children in 50 schools have access to a child-friendly learning environment involving sanitation facilities. The programme has been run with UNICEF support and in collaboration with the off-school activities department of the Ministry of Education, the Healthy Lifestyle Centre of the Ministry of Health and the Department of Rural Water Works.
Pour flush water-seal sanitary latrines introduced by UNICEF in 2003 are now a standard technology recommended by the Government for schools.
Close to 150,000 children have benefited from a hygiene education and promotion network to improve their everyday hygiene practices. The related educational materials are being used by the children and teachers to promote hygiene and sanitation in schools, among families and in communities. The improvement of hygiene and sanitation facilities in the schools is raising school attendance and encouraging more girls and boys to go to classes throughout the school year.
In 15 satellite schools of key resource schools identified by the Ministry of Education, 160 peer group members have received on-line training, participated in discussions and helped the resource schools in the collection of experiences and in exchanges with other schools. A small children's water forum has been organized in order to follow up on the outcomes of the children's water forum, and a child delegate was selected to represent Tajikistan at a roundtable meeting on school water, sanitation and health education held in the United Kingdom in early 2005.

 

 
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