“If education is the key to helping children escape poverty, access to water and sanitation are the key to helping children safely maximize their education.”, says Kelly Ann Naylor, UNICEF Global Head of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene.
‘Drinking water, Sanitation and Hygiene in schools 2018’ report prepared in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) comes to the surface and its a no good news.
According to the data that emerges from the report which was made public during World Water Week, millions of children around the world continue to attend schools that lack drinking water, improved sanitation facilities and places to wash their hands that deprives them of a healthy learning environment and can influence their schooling, especially in the case of girls.
These are the 10 embarrassing facts that the report digs out of the worsening sanitation condition of schools due to the prevailing water crisis and some other issues.
- Only 69% of schools have a basic service of clean drinking water in the world.
- In 1 of every 4 elementary schools, there is no potable(safe to drink) water service. The data is reduced to 1 out of every 6 when we move on to secondary school.
- In general, almost 600 million children lacked a basic safe water service at their schools in 2016.
- Only 66% of the schools had a basic sanitation service (bathrooms) in 2016 around the world.
- 1 out of 5 elementary schools and 1 out of 8 secondary schools do not have toilets or services.
- 1/3 of schools in sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania either. In most countries where data are available, less than 50% of schools have accessible toilets for students with limited mobility.
- 600 million children around the world do not have a toilet in their school.
- Nearly 900 million children worldwide lack a hand-washing service.
- 1 out of 3 primary schools do not have any more than a quarter of the secondary schools do not have hygiene/hand washing services.
- Neither do they possess more than 1/3 of the schools in the whole world and half of those of the less developed countries.
The World Bank last year warned countries needed to quadruple spending to $150 billion a year to deliver universal safe water and sanitation. However, experts say they are optimistic the situation can be quickly improved if leaders treat water, sanitation, and hygiene as a priority.
According to a recent report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Pakistan ranks third in the world among countries facing an acute water crisis. While Civil society is playing its part in creating awareness to save water, it’s the duty of the government to come up with a policy to tackle this grave issue.
We support CJP Saqib Nisar initiative as he has established a dam fund to curb water crisis and is going soon to Europe for the same purpose, still we are waiting to see something from new PTI government.