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Why is Sanitation Important in Schools?

School is an important place for children. However, Millions of children around the world are missing school every day because of poor sanitation.

Updated

Why is Sanitation Important in Schools?

A School is an important place for children. It’s a warm place where you can learn and where it doesn’t matter where you come from - you have an equal opportunity as your peers, to grow and improve yourself. Now, imagine not wanting to go to school, just because of the unhygienic state of the toilets there.

The reality is that millions of children worldwide miss school every day because of poor sanitation. A lack of safe sanitation at school as well as a lack of access to clean water can lead to water-borne diseases and other water-related illnesses , spreading. Over 443 million school days are lost each year because of water-related illnesses and children falling ill and having to miss school.

Experts have found that poor sanitation in schools and a lack of hygienic and safe facilities can impact a child’s physical and cognitive development. Now can you see why safe school sanitation is so important?

Sanitation in South African Schools

The reality of sanitation in South African schools is that in 2022, millions of children worldwide still have no access to sanitary ablutions at school. In South Africa, this means no access to flushing toilets, no access to clean water for washing hands or drinking, and the risk of death from the diseases that lurk in these unsanitary and unhygienic facilities.

Sanitation has also been found to be a key factor in either keeping girl children in school or as the reason why they miss school. Menstruating girl children often do not want to access unsanitary, insufficiently private, bathroom facilities during their menses, or do not even have access to effective sanitary products to be able to go to school during that time of the month.

School-led Sanitation

By making schools the centre of the safe sanitation fight, the government and NGOs are seeing an improvement in sanitation conditions at schools. When you make a school, its leaders, and parents responsible for the safe and hygienic conditions of the bathrooms they tend to be more invested in improving facilities for their kids.

Domestos is spearheading a school sanitation campaign called the Safer School Sanitation campaign which is aimed at providing safer toilets for school learners in the country, as well as educating children and adults about safer sanitation.

Keen to get involved? Join the fight against unsafe sanitation by choosing Domestos. Every time you purchase a 750ml Domestos thick bleach bottle, R1 will be donated towards helping over 1 million learners gain access to clean and safe toilets.

Sign Up for the Domestos Safer School Campaign and you could also receive R10 off your next purchase of a Domestos Thick Bleach at your favourite retailer.

Frequently Asked Questions on Sanitation in Schools

What are the Positive Effects of Sanitation in Schools?

Sanitary bathrooms in schools have a positive effect on the children’s physical and cognitive growth. If they have access to safe, hygienic bathrooms they will be less likely to miss school due to illness or embarrassment.

What is Sanitation and Why is it Important?

Sanitation is defined as the conditions relating to public health, especially clean drinking water and adequate sewage disposal. Access to safe, clean sanitation means having access to clean water and a toilet or bathroom that is clean and has a flushing or flushable toilet.

How can Sanitation be Improved in School Toilets?

Sanitation can be improved in school toilets by ensuring they are kept clean and disinfected on a daily basis. The toilets are in good working order and not broken. The bathrooms are well-aired and well-lit. Doors are lockable for privacy. There is access to clean water.

What is the Role of Sanitation in Schools?

Sanitation plays a vital role in ensuring students can maintain a standard of personal hygiene that will allow them to flourish and learn.

Who Should Sanitise School Toilets?

Sanitising the bathrooms in schools needs to be a joint project between the leaders of the school, the governing body, the government and private business in order to make sure that education happens, facilities are maintained, and good quality products can be afforded.

Originally published