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Tajikistan: a young girl’s story on water and sanitation issues

© UNICEF/SWZK00136/Pirozzi
TAJIKISTAN 2004: Umar, aged 10, uses a newly-installed hand pump at Secondary School Number 43, Bokhtar District, Khatlon Province. The school is one of those involved in a UNICEF-assisted Water and Environmental Sanitation programme to ensure clean wate

Mekhriniso Saidiso, Girl, age: 15 – village of Chapaev, Kolhkozabad district

My family is big. There are 8 children, including me (2 boys and 6 girls), mother and father. I'm 15 years old and I'm the eldest child in our family. I feel very responsible for my young sisters and brothers, the youngest is only 1 year old.

There are problems in many villages related to lack of drinking water. Adults and children spend many hours a day to fetch water to their households. I think that all the people have a right for drinking water. And no one should suffer from water borne diseases or illnesses related to poor hygiene or sanitation. I think people can prevent these diseases, simply, by observing the rules of personal and public hygiene.

As one of the members of the “7 peer groups” on sanitation and hygiene within UNICEF water program in our school, I’m actively involved in the life of our school and village (participating in local surveys and visiting households).

A pour-flush water seal latrine has been constructed in our school with support from UNICEF in 2005. Before we had very old and unsanitary toilet in the school and girls were not going to that toilet.  Now, it is already one year we enjoy our latrine. Besides, with the effort of the 7 peer groups we ensure cleanliness of the toilet and proper operation and maintenance of water and sanitation points.

I’m the member and the leader of the Monday students’ group on “Handling of drinking water”. Our group is responsible for monitoring safe handling of drinking water through conducting community water quality monitoring, water surveys in school and in community to ensure that people know about water quality and how to boil water before they drink it.  For most of the girls, like me this has been the first time they have been given an opportunity to exercise leadership skills in basic education.

I want to be a leader in improving living conditions of our community, particularly related to water and sanitation issues.





Related links

Children & Water in CEE/CIS


Voices of Youth:

The Children's World Water Forum
Mexico City
16th – 22nd March, 2006

Get more information about the 2nd Children’s World Water Forum

Read the Children's Water Manifesto

Find out more about the 4th World Water Forum


UN World Water Development Report 2, Executive Summary



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