Research has shown that almost three out of every five public schools in Ghana do not have access to drinking water supply facilities, while 30 per cent do not have toilet facilities.
This statistics translates into over 2.5 million school-going children being at risk of water supply, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)-related diseases which could be prevented.
This was revealed in a statement issued and signed by Basilia Nanbigne, the Executive Secretary of the Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS).
The coalition has called for the access gap involved in the provision and upgrading of WASH facilities, were child, disability and gender sensitivity to be closed.
The statement said existing evidence showed that the majority of school compounds and WASH facilities, especially toilets, did not meet the required minimum standards.
“What is more alarming was that between 2013 and 2018 access to toilet facilities in schools improved by only one per cent, which implies that if the trend should continue with one per cent every five years, it would take Ghana 150 years to close the access gap of 30 per cent for sanitation in schools alone,” it stated.
Meanwhile, it said, the SDGs required countries to provide safe sanitation for all within the next 11 years.
There was a two per cent increase in the access gap of drinking water facilities in public basic schools from 56 per cent in 2013 to 58 per cent in 2018, making the situation more worrying, the statement said.
“Even for the existing toilet facilities, several of them do not have separate changing rooms for girls, forcing menstruating girls for instance, to stay away from school during their periods.
Thousands of school toilet and water facilities are also not disability-sensitive, further complicating school life for pupils with disability,” parts of the statement further stated.
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