One in three schools worldwide lack a decent toilet, reports WaterAid

One in three schools worldwide lack a decent toilet, reports WaterAid

A recent report by WaterAid has revealed that 620 million children around the world do not have access to proper toilets at school. This threatens their health, safety and education, the charity warned.

Around the world, children at one in three schools lack access to a decent toilet which dramatically increases their risk of contracting diarrhoea and other infections, therefore forcing them to miss school.

The report is based on findings from 101 countries.

The worst performing country for toilet access at school is Guinea-Bissau in West Africa. Whereas, Ethiopia is reportedly the worst performing country for toilet access at home with 93% of homes lacking a decent toilet.

Anna France-Williams, WaterAid spokeswoman commented:

"If there's no toilet in schools, children will miss lessons and it will have an impact on their growing up."

Earlier this year UNICEF and WHO warned that 30% of schools do not have access to safe drinking water.

WaterAid warned that a lack of proper sanitation puts millions of children in danger of diarrhoea, which kills almost 300,000 under fives each year.

However, the report also praised countries for the significant improvement in toilet access in schools and progress towards SDG6: Clean Water and Sanitation.

South Asia has reportedly experienced a major improvement. For example, in Bangladesh more than half of schools have decent toilets and 73% of school children in India can access basic sanitation.

WaterAid have emphasised that more investment is needed in basic sanitation in South Asia as over a third of girls miss between one and three days of school each month during their period.

Tim Wainwright, Chief Executive of WaterAid commented:

"If we are serious about all children and young people, wherever they are, whatever their gender, physical ability or community background, having their right to clean water and sanitation, we must take decisive and inclusive action now”

The report comes ahead of World Toilet Day which is taking place on 19th November to raise awareness of the 4.5 billion people who do not have access to a safe toilet around the world. To achieve SDG6 everyone must have a safe toilet by 2030.


The AIDF Global Summit will return to Washington in 2019. 

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Image credit: World Toilet Day

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