Supporting children to access water and sanitation, Rural Damascus

UNICEF distributed soap bars and delivered clean water to schools in response to COVID-19

UNICEF
15 October 2020

Water and soap are all what it takes to keep our hands clean and significantly lower the risk of infection with coronavirus and other diseases. That’s why, since schools reopened across Syria last month after a long lockdown, UNICEF has distributed soap bars to 1,447 schools in rural Damascus. UNICEF is also trucking 500 cubic meters of clean water daily to the most conflict-ravaged areas of eastern Ghouta, including 48 schools damaged in violence.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, UNICEF has supported these schools through the provision of detergents, liquid chlorine and chlorine sprayers for regular disinfection of school facilities.

water truck next to school
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Christine Rezk
A UNICEF-supported water truck unloads safe drinking water at a school in Nashabeya, eastern Ghouta.
boy washing hands in school
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Christine Rezk
Nizar, 11, washes his hands at his school in Nashabeya, eastern Ghouta. “I wash my hands many times during the day at school because I want to protect myself and others from COVID 19,” he says.
girl smelling a soap bar in her hand
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Christine Rezk
“I like the fresh smell of soap!” says Haneen, 10, as she washes her hands at her school in Nashabeya, eastern Ghouta.
boy washing hands in school
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Christine Rezk
Zafer, 13, washes his hands at his school in Nashabeya, eastern Ghouta. “Our science teacher educated us about the coronavirus. Since then, I always remind my friends not to touch their faces and to wash their hands frequently,” he says.
girl washing hands in school
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Christine Rezk
Shirin, 9, washes her hands at her school in Nashabeya, eastern Ghouta. “As I have to always fix my eyeglasses, I need to have clean hands all the time,” she says.
boy showing hands in soap
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Christine Rezk
Laith, 12, washes his hands at his school in Nashabeya, eastern Ghouta. “I wash my hands repeatedly at school because my grandfather visits us frequently at home and I don’t want him to get sick,” he says.
man disinfecting surfaces at a school
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Christine Rezk
A UNICEF-supported worker disinfecting surfaces at a school in Nashabeya, Eastern Ghouta. In response to the COVID19 pandemic, UNICEF supported 1,447 schools in rural Damascus governorate through the provision of detergents, liquid chlorine and chlorine sprayers for regular disinfection of school facilities.
man disinfecting surfaces at a school
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Christine Rezk
A UNICEF-supported worker disinfecting surfaces at a school in Nashabeya, Eastern Ghouta. In response to the COVID19 pandemic, UNICEF supported 1,447 schools in rural Damascus governorate through the provision of detergents, liquid chlorine and chlorine sprayers for regular disinfection of school facilities.

UNICEF has also so far rehabilitated 72 schools in rural Damascus during the 2019-2020 school year, contributing to children’s improved access to safe water and proper sanitation facilities, including Al-Nashabeya Modernised School in Nashabeya, eastern Ghouta, which has benefitted of all above-mentioned services.

“Water trucking and rehabilitation of the school’s water supply and sanitation facilities have been the most important progress for us this year,” says Zainab Younes, the school principal. According to Zainab, students used to bring water bottles to school for handwashing while many refused to use the damaged bathrooms all together and preferred to wait for release time to use the toilet and wash up at home.