What is WASH Program & How Does it Help Children?
WASH – Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene is a global initiative supported by the UNICEF (United Nation Children’s Fund) that aims at providing every child across the world access to safe drinking water, clean toilets, and proper sanitation facilities. Every child in the world has the right to get clean water and basic toilet facilities, which is vital for their well-being, good health, and proper growth.
However, in some parts of the World, children still do not have access to clean sanitation facilities. Let us look at some important facts regarding drinking water and sanitation. According to UNICEF –
- About 2.2 billion people globally do not have access to safe drinking water
- Nearly half of the population worldwide do not have access to safe sanitation
- About three billion people do not have the facility for washing hands with soap
- More than 670 million people do not have access to toilets and defecate in the open
- Over 700 children aged below five years die every day due to diarrhoea caused by the lack of adequate WASH facilities
- In conflict areas, children are at 20 times higher risk of dying from diarrhoeal disease than the conflict itself
In India, many children, especially girls from the rural areas, miss school for a several days due to a lack of clean and safe toilets. This has a major impact on their health and academic performance.
The situation, however, has improved significantly since 2015 with the launch of the Swachh Vidyalaya initiative, which is an integral part of the Swachh Bharat Mission. The initiative aims to provide gender-segregated toilets in 1.2 million government schools and increase the emphasis on improving the sanitation facilities in schools through the WASH program.
Let us look at the positive impact of WASH programs in Indian schools and how it has improved children’s lives.
According to the Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools: 2018 Global Baseline Report, since implementing WASH programs, schools in India reached nearly 100% sanitation from 50% about ten years ago.
As per the latest Joint Monitoring Program for WASH in schools report by WHO (World Health Organisation) and UNICEF, the proportion of schools without any sanitation facilities in India has decreased significantly.
A study conducted in Kerala in collaboration with WHO revealed that after introducing the WASH programme, the absenteeism among students, especially girls has significantly decreased.
Studies have also shown that WASH programmes have played a vital role in curbing incidences of diarrhoea, acute respiratory diseases, soil-transmitted helminths, and other diseases among children caused due to lack of clean water and sanitation.
Nest-In by Tata Steel Role in Providing Safe Sanitation Facilities
While the WASH program has been a massive success in India and has created a significant difference in children’s lives, Nest-In by Tata Steel has been one of the critical contributors to the cause.
In collaboration with the Government of India, under the Swachh Bharat Mission, Tata Steel Nest-In, one of the largest modular construction services in India, has installed thousands of EzyNest modular toilets in over 26 States across the country.
These steel-intensive modular toilets are easy to use and is suitable for installation in remote locations and harsh terrains as well. More importantly, EzyNest is a one-stop solution with waste management, plumbing and electrical fittings where large parts of the units are recyclable.
With the advent of technology, Nest-In by Tata Steel has also introduced Smart EzyNest, which is an automated sanitation solution, enabling you to solve your essential sanitation needs with a smarter touch. Smart EzyNest, a self-cleaning public toilet is the perfect solution for tourist places, smart cities, airports, railway stations and more.
Nest-In by Tata Steel offers Sanitation solutions for a better and healthier tomorrow. Stay Clean Stay Safe!