Washing a path to a brighter future: Changing lives across India
Around the world, access to clean drinking water is a daily struggle; with one in eight people lacking safe water. As a result of these contaminated water sources, a child is more likely to contract diarrhoeal and other pathogen based diseases or infections. Diarrhoea is one of the largest killers of children worldwide, second only to pneumonia. Clean water supplies mean a reduced risk of illnesses and less time away from school for children. Participatory audits across 10 states in India by Plan in 2005-06 highlighted the absence of water treatment facilities in school premises. Small scale treatment units that are sparingly available in urban schools are handicapped by the lack of electricity and are not in working condition. The result is consumption of inferior ground water. Toilets were in an even worse condition. A WASH survey carried out by Plan and local partners across 2,442 schools in Odisha found that 80% of school toilets were unusable and that in 90% of schools there was insuffi cient water.