Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
Disparities are quite significant across the region where rural children lack access to safely managed drinking water or sanitation services, rural children are twice more likely to only have access to unimproved drinking water sources compared to urban children, It’s nearly only rural children whom drink untreated surface water, rural children are nearly twice more likely to only have access to unimproved sanitation facilities compared to urban children, and It’s nearly only rural children whom defecate in the open. Moreover, the region is witnessing a significant increase in the number of children affected by humanitarian situations.
While detailed information on the situation of WASH in schools is not available, studies in 8 countries in MENA demonstrated that school children are deprived of equitable and adequate WASH facilities meeting minimum standards in more than 50% of the schools. Sub-optimal school WASH facilities negatively impacts the school learning environment and evidence suggest it contributes to school drop-outs, especially among girls, and reduces retention rates. Though detailed information isn’t available, water and sanitation facilities at healthcare facilities are far from optimal, hence, poor Infection prevention and control, which highly impacts children and women.
MENA is the most water scarce region of the world. The region is home to about 6% of world’s population but has access to measly 2% of the world’s renewable fresh water with 12 of the world’s most water scarce countries. The average water availability per person in the region amounts to as little as 1,200 m3/person/year, around six times less than the worldwide average of 7,000 m3/person/year. Due to burgeoning population, unsustainable water management and use, and rapid economic growth, the per capita water availability is expected to reduce to alarming levels in the coming decades. By the year 2050, two-thirds of MENA countries could have less than 200 m3 of renewable water resources per capita per year, which translates to less than a lifeline quantity of drinking water. In other words, persistence of the current economic model will compromise future generations.
Sub-optimal WASH services continue to be an impeding factors for the children in MENA to reach their full development potential. Furthermore and as the natural caretakers of their respective households, the brunt of the sub-optimal WASH conditions in MENA continues to be unduly borne by women and girls.
By 2024 children, adolescents and their families, especially the most vulnerable, have improved access to sustainable, equitable and safely managed water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services. The programme will address key barriers in supply, demand and quality of water in urban and rural settings, losses due to system inefficiencies, poor wastewater infrastructure and suboptimal sanitation.
Priority interventions will enhance the sector’s governance, including clarification of accountabilities among policymakers, service providers and regulators, and mechanisms for service delivery.
This component will continue to engage the Government and development partners in WASH sector reforms and innovations to improve governance, financing and accountability. It will strengthen government capacity to improve quality management of water and sanitation, integrated water management resource planning, and sustainable management of decentralized WASH services. Equitable access to safely managed, sustainable , climate-resilient WASH services will be a focus area.
The programme will use schools, health-care centres and communities to increase knowledge among children and families on appropriate use of water and improved hygiene practices, including menstrual hygiene management. (MHM). The programme will work in an integrated manner with the education and health sectors to support implementation of MHM in schools and disease prevention in schools, health centres and communities. It will promote adolescent engagement in WASH interventions, particularly WASH behavioural change.