Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools: Global Baseline Report 2018

Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools: Global Baseline Report 2018

Only two-thirds (69 percent) of schools globally had basic drinking water service in 2016, with nearly 570 million school children having no access to drinking water at all, a report from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization’s Joint Monitoring Programme finds. According to the report, Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools: Global Baseline Report 2018 (84 pages, PDF), 66 percent of schools had basic sanitation service, while more than 620 million children had no access to such services at school. And while 53 percent of schools had basic hygiene service, defined as a handwashing facility with water and soap, 11 percent had water but no soap. The UN Sustainable Development Goals 4 and 6 — ensuring access to quality education and water and sanitation — are mutually reinforcing, the report argues, before calling for closer collaboration between WASH and education stakeholders at the national and international level. WASH-in-school programs also provide an important entry point for raising awareness and promoting the behavior change necessary to end open defecation and achieve universal access to WASH in households as well as other institutional settings, including healthcare facilities and workplaces.