Gender Issues on School WASH at WASH FORUM
By: Mahidul Islam
How many of us think from the gender lens while providing accessibilities and facilities? Yes, one should think in this way as well. The monthly talk forum: WASH FORUM discussed the forum on the issues of Gender on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) entitled, “School, WASH and Gender: Key Issues” with making eyes opening on last Friday of November i.e. 25th November, 2011 which has been conducting joint effort of “paschim paaila” and ENPHO since 2010 at ENPHO Hall, Thapagaun.
On the forum, main discussion points were school, sanitation and gender sensitization related issues in which two speakers Ms. Shikha Shrestha, Water Aid Nepal (WAN) as Key Note Speaker and Ms. Shubha Kayastha, Youth Peer (YPEER) as Youth Speaker shared their ideas, experiences and opinions. In addition, this forum has also been focused on current issues regarding school, concerns and initiatives of WASH sector and tries to address the voices of diversified youth communities and others.
“GoN policy says 1 toilet must serve 50 students but data set shows that on average, one toilet serves 127 students in Nepal. This indicates that more toilets need to be built even at existing community schools” Said, Ms. Shikha Shrestha, WAN. “Lack of adequate toilets and waste disposal facilities in schools create a high risk of spreading disease and discourage to attend the students.” She added. Similarly, Ms. Shubha, YPEER addressed that it would be the potential roles of youth who are fruitful avenues to consider for interventions to stimulate demand for school sanitation and gender issues.
Finally, the program was summarized with thank giving and presenting token of love to the speakers.