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IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre

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RSS Jcollett

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Like Dick, I'm also passionate about the need for decent school toilets - the disheartening thing is, I've found few others where I'm working who really seem to feel the same way. Is it because people's toilets at home are so shitty that it's seen as quite normal to have the same situation at schools - who cares if the toilets are disgusting? Although about 90% of rural households in our programme area have some kind of toilet, when you really look into them you find only 5% to 15% qualify as 'sanitary' and/ or 'hygienic.' After all the optimistic reporting about improved sanitation coverage over the past decade or two, it now feels like we're going backwards with household and school sanitation if we begin to factor in functionality, quality, convenience, cleanliness, effective use etc. I'm sorry that after more than 30 years working near the sharp end, I have to say I'm for the argument that we have failed on WASH in schools. When I have at least 50 pictures of foul, shitty, stinky school toilets to every one decent school toilet, it feels impossible to be on the other side of the argument - though we can always brighten up our day by recalling a few small successes :)

John Collett, Bhutan

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