A new school toilet to improve the hygienic situation

As reported several times before we are mainly focussing our work, among other things, on the improvement of the medical and hygienic situation in our project villages.
Unfortunately the hygienic conditions in the Nepalese schools are miserable most of the times as the government lack the money to support the schools sufficiently. Quoting the “Himalaya Times” from the 7th of march this year, only about 60 per cent of the governmental schools do have sanitary facilities and only 4 per cent do have a separate toilet for girls.

In one of our supported schools the situation has as well been not satisfactory in the past. In the school belonging to the project-region Thakaltar there has been only one very old and rotten toilet serving 331 pupils. This toilet was very damp, dark, smelled really bad and was full of flies. The door could not be closed and there were no sinks or water taps for being able to wash the hands properly after using the toilet.

Especially for the 150 female pupils it was an unbearable situation, as Sita Lama, a teacher of the school, told us: “One important reason why many girls in puberty quit going to school is the lack of hygienic toilets and running water, trashcans and sufficient privacy. Especially when the girls are having their menstruation they often are staying home for this week. Through their regular absence they lose touch to the school-lessons. Therefore many girls do not come to school at all after several months.”

In fact many of the girls of this school complaint to our project-worker that they feel ashamed having to use the toilet behind any bushes or had to wait till they came home again. For the boys the hygienic situation was not any better but of course it was easier for them to cope with the situation.

Therefore we decided to build up a complete new toilet-house with boys- and girls-toilets being separated as well as sufficient taps inside as well as outside the building. The running water was ensured through a water tank which was installed on top of the roof.

Especially the girls are delighted and enthralled. One girl of a 7th-grade-class told our project-worker Anjan: “We’re very happy, that we now have a clean and hygienic toilet and that the boys and girls have separated rooms. Now we don’t have to stay at home every month feeling too ashamed to come to school.”

Sun Bahadur Moktan, the Principal of the school, is as well very pleased with this new building: “Now, after the completion of the new toilets it’s of course easier for us to explain hygienic measures to the pupils by showing them for example how to wash their hands properly with soap to prevent illnesses. Prior to this we didn’t have any sanitary facility to do so. We are very thankful that Back to Life helped us to improve the hygienic situation at our school. I also would like to say our deepest Thank-You on behalf of our pupils.”