Keeping Girls in School with Access to Clean Water and Sanitation

Lack of clean running water is a problem affecting a large portion of the world’s population, however, for young women and girls, this situation is increasingly difficult as it directly affects their menstrual cycle and how they manage it every month. Without proper sanitation and methods of washing, many girls miss out on school during their period, affecting their level of education and often causing them to drop out. If the girls miss school whenever they menstruate that adds up to 12 weeks a year and our goal is to provide clean and sustainable water supplies to the communities in Nepal so that the girls can become empowered and their schooling becomes unaffected by their cycle.

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Our ambitious project seeks to bring water access, sanitation and menstrual hygiene management to three high hilltop schools and surrounding communities in Nepal’s Gulmi District. With an anticipated timeframe of April 2020 to October 2022, this project will bring water access to more than 1,031 schoolchildren and reach over 4,640 indirect beneficiaries with improved WaSH practices.

Girls across Gulmi tell us the same thing; they cannot attend school when menstruating. Countless schools in this beautiful and remote region sit high above their water source, therefore, there is no water in the taps and no way of flushing a toilet. For several days a month, young girls who already face a cultural battle to enrol in school, are forced to sit at home while their male peers continue to attend. This directly contributes to gender inequality and keeps girls at a lower level of education as they miss out on schooling.

This project aims to make education inclusive to 1,031 children attending three schools in Gulmi, we support 3 schools to purchase and install solar-powered water pump bringing a clean, affordable and sustainable water supply. We will install hygiene and sanitation infrastructure designed to meet the needs of girls, boys and children with disabilities. We will also include a hygiene and sanitation awareness campaign which is driven, designed and delivered by young people themselves.

Solar water pumping will benefit not just the schools’ 1031 pupils, but the 54 strong teaching staff of the schools and the communities in the immediate vicinity of the school (some 100 households), which will have access to pumped water in their homes. In total, 1,571 people will benefit directly, and a further 4,640 people will benefit indirectly, through education on WaSH. This will improve the level of hygiene and health in the area whilst giving the girls a sense of empowerment as they take control of their lives and menstruation.

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