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IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre



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Indeed we have failed on WASH in Schools. Imagine a country like Ghana, colonized by the United Kingdom, still constructing school blocks without toilets. We have the nice ideas on paper and the designs are WASH friendly and inclusive. Lamentably, these ideas and designs are not reflected during construction. This is not surprising though, as people still construct residential homes without provision for toilets in major cities and it appears the policy makers and Local Government authorities are powerless to enforce the laws. WASH in schools underpins behaviour change in the community and in the country as a whole as children are agents of change. Without mincing words, the insanitary environment. witnessed in most parts of the country could be attributed to failure on WASH in schools. Children spent most of their formative years in school and learn and adopt many good behaviours during these periods which they can demonstrate and/or advocate for when they occupy key strategic/responsible positions in society. Charity begins at home as the saying goes. Providing sustainable WASH services in school will bring enormous good returns to the built environment in Ghana. It will enhance school attendance of girls and maximise health benefits in our communities. Even though there is the awakening now, the Central/ Decentralized government must show more commitment, the Ministry of Education/Ghana Education Service has to provide policy direction and also to be delivery focused; and WASH sector actors must be more proactive to promote sustainable WASH services to schools.

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