Tuesday June 25, 2019
Home Lead Story Lack of Prope...

Lack of Proper Sanitation Affects 620 Million Children Around The World: Report

Despite the improvements, more than a third of the girls in South Asia miss school for one to three days a month during their period.

0
//
Rohingya, Violence. drinking water
A new toilet recently installed in a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh. VOA

A lack of proper school toilets threatens the health, education and safety of at least 620 million children around the world, the charity WaterAid said in a new study published Friday.

Children at 1 in 3 schools lack access to proper toilets, putting them at risk of diarrhea and other infections and forcing some to miss lessons altogether, according to the study, based on data from 101 countries.

Guinea-Bissau in West Africa has the worst school toilets while Ethiopian children fare worst at home, with 93 percent of homes lacking a decent toilet according to the report, released ahead of World Toilet Day on Monday.

toilets, students
Students arrive for class at the Every Nation Academy private school in the city of Makeni in Sierra Leone, April 20, 2012. VOA

“The message here is that water and sanitation affect everything,” WaterAid spokeswoman Anna France-Williams told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “If there’s no toilet in schools, children will miss lessons and it will have an impact on their growing up.”

Diarrhea, infection risk

A lack of proper sanitation puts millions of children around the world in danger of diarrhea, which kills 289,000 children younger than 5 a year, WaterAid said.

But some regions have started to clean up their act, notably South Asia, where access to toilets in schools has improved.

More than half the schools in Bangladesh now have access to decent toilets, while students in 73 percent of schools in India and 76 percent of those in Bhutan can access basic sanitation.

Akramul Islam, director of water, sanitation and hygiene at the Bangladeshi charity BRAC, said the country’s once-high levels of open defecation — using open ground rather than toilets — were now less than 1 percent.

toilets, studentsac
India’s plight in sanitation has not improved much since ages.
Pixabay

“Today, schools have separate toilets for girls and boys and the issue of menstrual hygiene is also being addressed,” he said. “This has happened because of initiatives taken by both the government, the NGOs and other stakeholders.”

Also Read: 3 HIV+ Students Banned From School in Indonesia

Improvement needed

Despite the improvements, more than a third of the girls in South Asia miss school for one to three days a month during their period, WaterAid said, urging greater investment in basic sanitation.

“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,” said Chief Executive Tim Wainwright. (VOA)

Next Story

Hundreds of Children Sustained in U.S. Border Detention Facility after Entering the Country without Authorization

Lawyers who visited the remote station said that older children were caring for other children

0
Children, US, Detention Facility
This image from a video, taken June 20, 2019, shows the entrance of a Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas. A legal team that interviewed about 60 children there says young migrants being held there are being mistreated by the U.S. government. VOA

Several hundred children, held in a U.S. border detention facility in Texas after entering the country without authorization, will be sheltered elsewhere, following a media report last week that described unsanitary living conditions and inadequate food and medical treatment at the facility.

The Associated Press reported Monday that authorities moved “more than 300 ” out of a Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas, following a June 20 story by the news agency.

Lawyers who visited the remote station said that older children were caring for other children, sanitation conditions were substandard, and children were sick, living in soiled clothes and being given rotten food, according to the AP.

VOA requested comment from the two government agencies involved in housing children who cross the border without authorization, or without a guardian — U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Office of Refugee Resettlement, within the Department of Health and Human Services. Neither office responded as of Monday afternoon.

Children, US, Detention Facility
FILE – Attorney General Jeff Sessions is shown during a news conference in San Diego near the border with Tijuana, Mexico, May 7, 2018. Pixabay

A June report by the Office of the Inspector General, the internal watchdog at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, found cleanliness and sanitation problems during an inspection of four detention facilities.

Asked about the allegations of poor standards for detained children, U.S. President Donald Trump did not address the AP report in a TV interview aired on Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” show.Instead, he laid responsibility — erroneously — on his predecessor, President Barack Obama, for the creation of what became known under Trump as the “family separation” policy.

As researchers from the Bipartisan Policy Center explained in a 2018 report, previous administrations relied more heavily on family detention facilities or alternatives to detention, like the use of monitoring devices.

Parents and children were separated under Obama in limited circumstances, such as cases where child trafficking was suspected.

Also Read- Tech Mahindra Introduces K2, the First Human Resource Humanoid in Noida: India

It was under the Trump administration, however, that then-Attorney General Jeff Session announced a blanket zero tolerance policy to detain all migrants who crossed the border without authorization.

That policy, though short-lived, led to thousands of adults and children being held in separate facilities. The public backlash and lawsuits led the administration to rescind the policy.

In a separate interview Sunday, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence acknowledged that the conditions in the facilities as reported by AP were unacceptable, he shifted the blame to Democrats in Congress.

Meanwhile, authorities said Monday that three children and one adult found dead in South Texas near the border with Mexico probably died of dehydration and heat exposure after crossing the Rio Grande into this country, AP reported.

Children, US, Detention Facility
Several hundred children, held in a U.S. border detention facility in Texas after entering the country. Pixabay

An increase in the detention of families with young children and children traveling without guardians has left U.S.officials scrambling to meet the shelter demands on the border.

At one point in recent months, CBP solicited bids to purchase thousands of baby bottles and diapers for detainees at the border.

From Oct. 1, 2018 – the start of the fiscal year – through May 31, CBP has detained 332,981 families and 56,278 unaccompanied children at the border, according to agency data.

Also Read- Small Shops in US Often Sell Tobacco Without Checking Age

The agency is under scrutiny over several deaths of children in its custody since late last year. (VOA)