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Clean water and a healthy environment for students enhance learning in Yemen

A student of Raydan school in Aden washes her hands in the bathrooms newly rehabilitated by UNICEF to improve the water and sanitation services delivered to students and keep them healthy.

By Ali Qasim Ali, Communication Officer, UNICEF Aden Field Office

Aden, Yemen, 29 April 2019 – Improved water, sanitation and hygiene services is an essential right for every child and adolescent. Providing these services in schools in Yemen is a great challenge amid the ongoing conflict and the limited number of schools that are still functioning across the country. One in five schools in Yemen can no longer be used because they have been severely damaged or destroyed or are being used for military purposes or as shelter for displaced populations.

Despite all these challenges, UNICEF and its partners continue to support schools with educational supplies, awareness programs and rehabilitation to prevent school drop-outs and provide a healthy environment for the students.

In Aden and Lahj governorates, south of Yemen, UNICEF recently completed the rehabilitation of 80 water and sanitation facilities in schools, where students were suffering from the lack of clean water and poor infrastructure.

In these schools, UNICEF also provided hygiene kits and trash barrels to keep students away from diseases. In addition, several hygiene awareness sessions were organized to educate students and school personnel on healthy practices. Sewage networks have also been rehabilitated to prevent the spread of cholera and other water-borne diseases. These interventions have radically changed the lives of the students, giving them the possibility to enjoy their time when at school and use proper water, sanitation and hygiene facilities to stay healthy and learn in the best possible conditions.

A total of 19 hand- washing basins and toilets were rehabilitated in Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq school in in Al-Mualla district in Aden, which hosts 1,500 students.

Maryam Nashwan, a seven-year-old lovely girl and first grader at Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq school, is very happy that the toilets are now clean and the water available at any time.

The eight-grade students Nada, Mai and Fatima can now use the newly rehabilitated water facilities in Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq school, thanks to UNICEF intervention.

Trash barrels were distributed in Aden and Lahj schools as a part of the hygiene kits provided for a clean environment for students.

A classroom in Raydan school in Aden, one of the schools targeted for the rehabilitation of water and sanitation facilities.

“The toilets were not clean, and we didn’t have water at school. We had to wait the end of the day to go back home and use the bathroom. But now, the bathrooms are clean and water is always available,” says Mai Mounir, 14 years old, a student at Abu Bakr Al Siddiq school, in Aden.

These interventions in schools were achieved with a contribution from the Government of Japan, a key partner of UNICEF, which plays a prominent role in supporting UNICEF to address the most urgent needs of children in Yemen in a mixed emergency and development approach.



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