Life is different for three out of 10 people worldwide, or 2.1 billion people, who do not have clean, safe water in their homes. One quarter of the world’s population does not have access to decent toilets. In cities alone, over 80 million people practice open defecation.
Bangladesh has largely succeeded in providing access to basic sanitation. Using latrines in rural communities is now no longer seen as a luxury reserved for upper-income households, but a necessity at all levels of society.
Menstruation is not just a monthly affair for many girls in Bangladesh. It is also an issue that hinders their education and their entire life. On Menstrual Hygiene Day, learn how we encouraged girls to stay in school throughout the year.
A few months ago, Thaingkhali High School in south-eastern Bangladesh had neither safe water supply nor adequate facilities for handwashing. Without safe water in the school premises during the dry season, students felt dehydrated, becoming sleepy and unable to concentrate during lessons.
“People are developing a taste for healthy living. They want improvement‑ compared to us and what we are doing, they want better,” says Md Amin Uddin, one of the elders in Arua village in Keshabpur upazila, Jessore, Bangladesh who is optimistic about the future.
“A study undertaken in Bangladesh revealed an 11 per cent increase in girls’ enrolment mainly due to the provision of sanitary toilets.” -Technical paper series/IRC, In Bangladesh the standard number of toilets in schools has been set as a minimum of one toilet for every 60 students. However, this is far from being achieved. The infographic below shows that on average, schools in Bangladesh have half the number of toilets required. However, although 94 per cent of schools have latrines within the compound, a large number remain unusable because they are dirty or broken.
This article was originally posted on IRC WASH blog on 1 August 2014 by Cor Dietvorst and Vera van der Grift Dr. Mushtaque Chowdhury from BRAC on the Bangladesh public health miracle, aid or trade, arsenic, floating latrines and the post-2015 development agenda.
For students who are not taught proper hygiene at home, health education can greatly influence their lives. In many countries, comprehensive hygiene education is government-mandated. In Bangladesh, it is not. BRAC’s water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programme works in schools to compensate for this.