A Children's and Education Crisis
Access to safe water and sanitation gives kids time for school
An investment in a child’s education is an investment in our future. However, millions of families around the world don’t have the upfront resources to invest in two of the most critical resources for getting their kids to school – safe water and a toilet at home. When they don’t have access to water at home, children are often responsible for collecting it for their families. Sharing the burden with their mothers, children around the globe spend 200 million hours each day collecting water. This takes time away from school. Likewise, poor sanitation keeps kids, especially girls, from being able to go to school.
The water crisis impacts girls around the world
Girls who lack access to safe water and sanitation at home or at school face significant challenges. Compounded by the fact that their safety and health are at risk when they have no choice but to defecate in the open, menstruation poses another reason why girls in impoverished, water-insecure communities do not go to school. Access to water and sanitation changes this. If for instance in India, water and toilets were accessible to even 1% more girls in secondary school, the country's GDP would rise more than $5 billion. Further, on a global scale, for every year a girl stays in school, her income can increase by 15-25%.
Reductions in time spent collecting water increase school attendance.
Access to safe water and sanitation at home changes everything. Read about how access to safe water and sanitation empowered Joslin and her friends with the time and health to go to school.
- Gonsalves, G.S., Kaplan, E.H., & Paltiel, A.D. (2015). Reducing Sexual Violence by Increasing the Supply of Toilets in Khayeltisha, South Africa
- Graham, Hirai, Kim (2016). An Analysis of Water Collection Labor among Women and Children
- Unilever Domestos, WaterAid and WSSCC (2013). We can't wait: A report on sanitation and hygiene for women and girls.
- USAID. (2014). “Infographic: An Educated Girl Has A Ripple Effect.”
- The World Bank. Montenegro, Claudio E., and Harry A. Patrinos. (2014). Comparable Estimates of Returns to Schooling Around the World.
- The World Bank. Nauges and Strand (2013). Water hauling and girls' school attendance
- World Health Organization. (2016). “Children: Reducing Mortality.”
- World Health Organization and UNICEF (2016). Safely managed drinking water services - thematic report on drinking water
- World Health Organization and UNICEF (2018). Drinking water, sanitation and hygiene in schools: global baseline report 2018
- World Health Organization and UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (2015). Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation, 2015 Update and MDG Assessment
When kids have safe water at home, they have time to go to school.Donate