Girls at Betivatu Community High School in the Solomon Islands enjoy fresh, clean water.
Most schools in the Solomon Islands do not have clean water or toilets. Fewer than four out of five children in rural areas have a toilet at home. Many children suffer from frequent bouts of diarrhea, causing them to often miss school.
Girls have another obstacle. When they reach puberty they often won’t go to school because of embarrassment and cultural taboos due to the lack of private places.
The construction of water tanks and toilets at Betivatu school has made health and hygiene easier, for example hand washing after using the bathroom and before eating.
“Before the World Vision water project, children had to walk to the river for drinking water or head into the bush when they needed to go to the toilet,” says Principal Eddie Gideon.“The students’ hygiene behaviours have changed completely and they are now practicing better hygiene in their homes as well,” he says. There’s also less sickness and skin diseases.
Photo© 2012 World Vision, Christina Muge