Haitian Children Need Safe Latrine And Water For Drinking And Hand-washing At School

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Haiti's School Children need Clean Drinking Water and Toilets. Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged the World Bank, international donors, and the government of Haiti (GOH) to begin providing school children with clean toilets and safe drinking water. They are gathering at a donors' conference in Washington D.C., to increase funding commitments toward clean drinking water and an improved sanitation and health system on the island.

HRW has discovered almost 60% of Haitian schools lack toilets, with over 75% having no access to water. Even recently completed schools, built with funds contributed by international donors, HRW found did not meet government guidelines, lacking both sufficient water and sanitation facilities. Consequently, students are missing classroom time, at home ill with diarrhea. HRW is asking the World Bank to lead on this issue by supporting basic rights of school children to clean drinking water, and proper and adequate sanitation facilities at their schools. HRW's Amanda Klasing says "The majority of children in Haiti attend schools in such poor condition . . . they risk contracting disease . . ."

She points to a survey GOH did, revealing school children from 5 to 19 ". . . have the highest incidences of cholera among all age groups . . ."The GOH and the international community must ensure children have adequate water and sanitation conditions and meet GOH water infrastructure guidelines across the board, whether for new or existing education infrastructure. This means coordination and oversight committees. No excuse exists for not getting the job done.

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