Taps and toilets help girls stay in school
We all know how important pens and books are in schools. But less well known is how important water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities are too. Schoolgirls in particular find it difficult to stay in school if there is a lack of clean, safe toilets. Without these basic facilities, the gender ratio of school-going children will never be balanced.
In Nepal, girls are treated differently to boys from early childhood, due to social and cultural beliefs. As a result, they tend to be shy, and find it hard to use mixed toilets. Mixed toilets often lack the necessary facilities for menstural hygiene management, leaving them nowhere to clean or dispose of their sanitary pads. As a result, many girls miss school or drop out completely, affecting their academic performance and limiting their options as adults. (more…)
The link is the news published in Karobar National Economic Daily on 9 January. The news briefs how Ghyatchok Village in Gorkha District become model village for universal WASH coverage in Nepal.
More – Click here for our link of the week – 15 January
Nepal’s ‘Millennium Development Goals progress report 2010’ is optimistic about Nepal achieving many of its MDG targets by 2015. The report indicates that some are very likely to be achieved and others quite likely. However, it predicts that three targets are unlikely to be achieved by 2015. These are: ‘achieving full and productive employment and decent work for all’, ‘universal access to reproductive health’ and ‘halving the proportion of population without sustainable access to improved sanitation’.
At a time when Nepal faces the huge challenge of making progress in these three MDG targets, an article published by The Kathmandu Post on January 7, 2011, ‘Water industry eyeing Rs 5000 b investment’ offers some encouragement. The article reports that the fast growing water industry in the country is expected to attract approximately Rs. 500 billion in investment from Indian and foreign companies, which would provide one
million jobs within the Nepalese market over the next three years.
This would certainly help Nepal’s government in terms of expecting progress in at least one of these targets: ‘achieving full and productive employment and decent work for all’.
I believe that an increase in employment and water supply could actually contribute indirectly to reproductive health and access to improved sanitation. It will therefore be the responsibility of the government and other stakeholders to endeavor to make this program a success.
Given this important development then, the country will need to place more focus on targets relating to reproductive health and sanitation in order to translate its commitment into reality.
Written by Govind Shrestha, Research Officer, WaterAid in Nepal