We’re building a new UNICEF.org.
As we swap out old for new, pages will be in transition. Thanks for your patience – please keep coming back to see the improvements.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

WASH in schools

© UNICEF/UNI200024/Niles
Syrian children follow along during a handwashing demonstration at a school in Domiz Camp for Syrian refugees.

Fulfilling every child's right to water, sanitation and hygiene education remains a major challenge for policymakers, school administrators and communities in many countries. In a group of surveyed developing countries, less than half of primary schools have access to safe water and adequate sanitation.  Lack of coverage data for WASH in Schools is one barrier to securing the rights of children.  Of the 60 developing countries surveyed, only 33 provided data on access to water in primary schools and 25 have data on sanitation.

Great strides have been made, nonetheless, to safeguard the well-being of children in schools. Millions of schoolchildren now have access to drinking water, sanitation facilities and hygiene education.  And the experience gained over the past decade can be well applied to sustaining WASH in Schools programmes that improve health, foster learning and enable children to participate as agents of change for their siblings, their parents and the community at large. As citizens, parents, policymakers and government representatives, we all have a role in making sure that every child receives the benefits of WASH in Schools:

  • Clean water for drinking and washing.
  • Dignity and safety through ample toilets and washstands, separated for girls and boys.
  • Education for good hygiene.
  • Healthy school environments through safe waste disposal.

Read more about the WASH in Schools program



New enhanced search