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IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre

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RSS MariaSnel

Reward Points:4
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4 most recent arguments.
1 point

Is funding for direct delivery of school WASH services from NGOs, donors and other stakeholders undermining the commitment of national governments and communities? To me it seems so explicit that direct delivery of school WASH services from NGOs, donors and other stakeholders does undermine the commitment of national governments and communities. Is not the whole point of development work based on countries undertaking action themselves without the assistant of external funders.

It is wonderful to see such a dynamic discussion taking place. I agree with all the colleagues whom are for this statement. Sustainable development is about national, district and local level taking on their own responsibilities around WASH in schools If you have the chance do have a look at the video on the following link- getting the most local level involved in WASH in school:

1 point

We are all using various means of sharing WASH in school information, ranging from formal meetings to informal google groups and websites. There is more than enough information sharing through the various websites, such as through the following key web links:

There are also numerous WASH in schools publications, concept notes, and literature reviews, etc. that can be found each of these site around WASH in schools. So, I don’t see why, or how it be stated that we are not sharing enough of our WASH in schools information!

Cheers, Marielle Snel (IRC)

1 point

There is strong evidence of the impact of improvement of water supply, water treatment, sanitation, and hygiene on diarrheal disease (Esrey, 1986; Fewtrell, 2004; Rabie, 2006; Clasen, 2007). It is estimated that more than 10.5 million children die every year from diseases associated with a lack of access to water and basic sanitation (UNICEF, 2009). This lack of access is responsible for more than 88% of all deaths caused by diarrhoeal diseases (UNICEF, 2006). More than 30% of all school-going children in Africa, for example, suffer from intestinal worms (Savioli, 2002). According to WHO (2005) improved sanitation alone reduces the rates of diarrhoea among children by 32%. Available studies seem to suggest that sanitation can reduce diarrheal disease in children under 5 (Clasen, 2009). It is estimated that children lose more than 270 million school days as a result of diarrhoeal related diseases (Hutton & Heller, 2004).

One of the key documents on WASH in schools standards has been developed by WHO and UNICEF in 2009. This document sets clear standards for WASH in schools with the development and implementation of national policies, guidelines of safe practices, training and promotion of effective messages in a context of healthy school will inevitably decrease the number of water-, sanitation- and hygiene-related diseases. These guidelines deal specifically with water, sanitation and hygiene and are designed to be used in schools in low-cost settings in medium- and low-resource countries to:

• Assess prevailing situations and plan the improvements that are required

• Develop and reach essential safety standards as a first goal

• Support the development and application of national policies

The international policy environment increasingly reflects these issues. Providing adequate levels of water supply, sanitation and hygiene in schools is of direct relevance to the Millennium Development Goals on achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and reducing child mortality. It is also supportive of other goals, especially those on major diseases and infant mortality.

In general, guidelines and monitoring indicators on water, sanitation and hygiene in schools are widely available, although inevitably additional guidance and standards for low-cost settings should continue to further developed. For more information refer to “Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Standards for Schools in Low-cost settings”. The full publication can be downloaded from:

In other words, there are definitely clear set standards and monitoring for WASH in school coverage in place.

4 points

If you consider the fact that we have been working in the area of WASH in schools since 1980s, the key question is: have we seen enough results that have come out from WASH in Schools? When reflecting on WASH in Schools should we not be a lot further in our developments in getting WASH in Schools on the agenda globally? Relatively speaking, only a few countries have a WASH in Schools policy, either separate or part of their overall sanitation and hygiene policy, in place. We also do not see enough inter-sectoral cooperation taking place between the various Ministries whether they be the Ministry of Health, Education, Infrastructure and any others. How can we expect WASH in Schools to work well if inter-sectoral co-operation does not take place properly and national policies do not directly acknowledge the role of WASH in Schools?

Yes, there are various case studies which focus on planning & management, actions in schools and teaching-learning, technology/design, scaling up or expanding the program while retaining its quality. However these are only global, national, district or community pocket case studies.

If we still have issues such as the lack of provision of facilities to provide water, lack of use and cleanliness of latrines and urinals, lack of teachers trained in school sanitation and hygiene, lack of standard norms (which vary considerably among countries), lack of behaviour change in communities and lack of funding for WASH in Schools programmes (e.g. per child costs of a WASH programme for each year ranges from the equivalent of US$2.40 to US$16 (Source: School sanitation and hygiene education- Results from the assessment of a 6 country pilot project- May 2006) how can we say that WASH in schools has been a success?

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