Improving WASH outcomes with school toilets

Washing hands at school toilet blocks Australian Red Cross (ARC) | Bangladesh

Three hundred students and their teachers at a Primary School in Padmapukur, Rangpur now have a new toilet block thanks to the Australian Red Cross CS WASH Fund program, CDI 1 2 WASH.

Designed through a consultative process with the school management committee, teachers, parents and students and addressing the issues posed by climate change and disaster risk reduction approaches, the final design was approved by the Department of Public Health and Engineering.

The new toilet block now includes separate toilet blocks for male and female students, teachers and people with a disability.  Menstrual hygiene management and hand washing facilities have been included in the construction and importantly the new toilet blocks have access to water.

With only two toilets originally, no water, no hand-washing facilities and no appropriate waste disposal, the old toilet block was malodourous and unmaintained.

Today, the school community are using the new toilets and incorporating hygienic practices such as hand washing and appropriate disposal of sanitary napkins and waste and have committed to its upkeep.  Hygiene education has been conducted with students and their parents to improve sanitation at the home as well as in school.

Teachers and students are confident that there will be a subsequent decrease in water-borne and faecal disease at the school and in the wider community.