Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)

Clean water, basic toilets and good hygiene practices are essential for the survival and development of children.

child washing her hand
UNICEF Mongolia

The challenges


Low use of improved water sources (68 per cent) and sanitation facilities (58 per cent) constitute another child priority. Access to improved sanitation for rural and poorer households are significantly low compared to urban and wealthy households. This situation is worrisome, considering that unsafe water and unsafe hygiene practices are the main causes of diarrhoea and hepatitis. The former is the third largest cause of under-five mortality and the latter is becoming endemic and accounts for 22 per cent of communicable diseases.

The most important causes of low access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are related to persisting negative social and cultural practices and beliefs as well as limited quality infrastructure. This is further worsened by the effects of climate change on already limited and declining freshwater sources, increased desertification and pollution, remoteness of populations and an overall low prioritization at the policy and budgetary level.

    UNICEF Actions

    UNICEF action with partners

    • Continue delivering innovative solutions to increase access to improved sanitation for children in schools, kindergartens and dormitories
    • UNICEF is supporting local governments to implement national standards for WASH in Kindergartens, Schools and Dormitories
    • UNICEF is working with partners to expand menstrual hygiene initiatives to enable girls to learn and study without fear and stigma

    Major results

    • Enabling Environment on WASH is improved through development of the ‘Norms and Requirements for WASH in schools, dormitories’ as well as revision of guidelines on on-site Sanitation Facilities
    • Equity focused water tariff setting methodology revision was made, based on the recommendations from the EAPRO-led study on “Equity in Public Financing of WASH in Mongolia.
    • Handwashing and Hygiene Promotion system is strengthened through organization of hygiene promotion campaigns, trainings and development of HP manuals, toolkits etc.  
    • Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in Schools was advocated effectively through conducting a study on MHM in schools and dormitories, developing basic package of education materials and website (www.namuu.mn), which enables for updating related policies and plans.


      These resources represent just a small selection of materials related to the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Programme of UNICEF Mongolia and its partners. The list is regularly updated to include the latest information.


      New school year, new bathrooms 

      Proper sanitation comes to a countryside school

      Hand washing: Keeping Mongolia’s children healthy

      Khuvsgul school children look forward to clean water and proper sanitation

      Photo Essays

      Water and sanitation for schools


      Global Handwashing Day flashmob by children from Khuvsgul province


      Norms and Requirements for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Kindergartens, Schools and Dormitories (MON & ENG)