UN: 18 August 2008 – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has stressed the importance of sanitation and hygiene in schools as events are held around the globe to mark World Water Week, which began yesterday.
Over 170 organizations have converged in Stockholm, Sweden, this week to discuss issues surrounding this year’s theme for the Week, “Progress and Prospects on Water: For a Clean and Health World.”
For its part, UNICEF will convene two seminars: one on the impact of hygiene interventions for children and the other on the necessity of clean water in schools.
Over 5,000 children under the age of five die every day due to diarrheal diseases, resulting in part from unsafe water and lack of access to basic sanitation facilitie
UNICEF stressed that simple behavioral changes, such as using soap when washing hands, can slash mortality rates related to diarrhea by half.
Further, the lack of proper sanitation facilities in schools impedes access to education, with many girls’ attendance falling when they hit puberty, the agency said.
News Tracker: past stories on this issue
Despite progress, over 2 billion people lack access to improved sanitation – UN