The Coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS) yesterday petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) regarding the lack of WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) facilities with changing rooms in public spaces and private schools.
According to the group, “when children are in school and have no water to drink, no toilets to empty their bowels and no water to wash their hands, their health and well-being are compromised and their lives also threatened”.
Mr. Yaw Attah Arhin, President of CONIWAS, who presented the petition at the CHRAJ in Accra, said that the coalition as part of its advocacy project study on the rights to water, sanitation and hygiene in 2020 revealed that 25% (5,471) of basic public schools did not have access to safe drinking water. , 26% (5,725) did not have a toilet, while 31% (6,843) did not have access to urinals.
In private basic schools, he indicated that the situation was better, 17% (1,966) did not have access to drinking water, 11% (1,273) did not have access to toilets, while 16 % (1,840) had no urinals. .
“Research finds that lack of access to these basic school infrastructures promotes absenteeism, school absenteeism, loss of teaching and learning time, and generally poor academic results, adding that some school infrastructures basic public buildings that were recently built lack drinking water, toilets and urinals.
Indeed, 9 out of 10 girls in Ghana regularly miss school during their period”
Part of the petition read; “It is our opinion and belief as a coalition that this is at the heart of the right to education and dignity. Lack of access to these basic facilities therefore violates the fundamental human right to education and to the dignity of those thousands of children who are affected by this unfortunate situation,” he said.
In this regard, they demand from the Commission further investigations to know the number of public and private basic schools without access to drinking water, toilets and urinals.
“Expanding its scope again to include high schools and higher education institutions as it sees fit, taking all legally necessary steps to ensure that the appropriate public bodies, including the Ministry of Education, the Ghana Education Service and MMDAs, are collaborating to provide potable water, sanitary improved toilets and urinals in all public and private basic schools within an acceptable time frame.”
“Furthermore, a statement that no new public or private basic school infrastructure can be built without access to safe drinking water, improved toilets and urinals,” the petition reads.
He added that “what they said would make the school environment conducive for girls who have reached puberty, and to ensure that menstruating girls do not miss school, all school sanitation facilities should have changing rooms for girls”.
Ghana: CONIWAS CHRAJ Petition on WASH Facilities in Schools
Source link Ghana: CONIWAS CHRAJ Petition on WASH Facilities in Schools