Water infrastructure in 8 schools in Mymensingh, Bangladesh
Schools: Shikkhaloy Gangatia, Shikkhaloy Talabo, Shikkhaloy Tamat, Shikkhaloy Akhalia, Shikkhaloy Bogajan Shikkhaloy Poddipara, Shikkhaloy Dhalia, Shikkhaloy Lalpur, in Mymensingh.
Direct: 1,567 inhabitants (772 women and 795 children aged under 15), students at the eight Educo schools in Mymensingh. Indirect: 33,891 people (16,609 women, 14,336 children aged under 15), people living in the communities adjoining the eight schools in which Educo is involved. The majority of them lack proper water or sanitation facilities, not to mention a real understanding of good hygienic practices, the use of drinking water and basic sanitation.
June 2014 – May 2016
The provision of drinking water and sanitation and the promotion of good hygiene practices are two of the key public health issues in Bangladesh. 21.22% of the country’s population has at some time been hospitalised in its Upazilla Health Complexes (first-tier public hospitals) due to waterborne diseases. This leads to low school enrolment rates, absenteeism, poor school performance and early school leaving.
- To promote good hygiene practices in the eight Mymensingh schools and thus improve the communities’ living conditions.
- To increase access to drinking water in the schools involved
- To increase the use of sanitary facilities in the schools involved.
- To extend good hygienic habits among the schools’ students.
The provision of drinking water and sanitation and the promotion of good hygiene practices are two of the key public health issues in Bangladesh. 21.22% of the country’s population has at some time been hospitalised in its Upazilla Health Complexes (first-tier public hospitals) due to water-borne diseases, mainly diarrhoea and typhoid. The incidence of diarrhoeal disorders among the under-fives is 5% in boys and 4.2% in girls. Only 31.7% of the rural population uses sanitary installations or latrines in their own homes.
Additionally, diseases associated with the lack of access to drinking water and sanitation are a significant contributory factor to low school enrolment rates, absenteeism, poor school performance and early school leaving. Furthermore, the lack of awareness of hygiene, drinking water and sanitation aggravates this situation. Students’ health affects their ability to learn. Improving hygiene conditions, water quality and sanitation in schools encourages an educational environment with a beneficial impact upon children’s health, wellbeing and ability to learn.
This project will provide support for the installation of deep tube wells in schools where, up to now, iodine tablets have been used to treat water for daily use. What’s more, the construction of latrines with a gender focus will ensure that girls will feel comfortable going to the bathroom at school, particularly during their menstrual cycle.
What methodology will be used and what are its advantages?
Existing school and community groups—above all the School Management Committee, the Parents’ Committee and the Health Committee—will participate in the identification of the locations best suited for the construction of the facilities. They will also take part in overseeing the works, which will, as representatives of the local community, provide them with a sense of ownership over the project. The groups will carry out participative oversight of the project to guarantee proper use of the sanitary facilities by students and the community in general.
What social impact will the project have?
The supply of safe and sufficient water will gradually reduce the prevalence of waterborne diseases among students, and this will have a significant knock-on effect on improving their educational performance in the schools. It will also reduce the burden of expenditure on treating families for waterborne diseases, thus impacting the parents’ financial solvency. Additionally, students’ practice of using drinking water and hygienic latrines will directly improve the school environment and thereby contribute to the implementation of proper sanitary and hygiene practices in their own homes. Furthermore, the mass awareness-raising campaign will improve understanding about drinking water and hygienic sanitation, which will help create a feeling of responsibility with regard to health among members of the communities involved.