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Fiji Takes First Steps to Ensure Better Water and Sanitation

Fiji Takes First Steps to Ensure Better Water and Sanitation Facilities for Children

SUVA, 17 August 2012 – It’s no secret that children will feel more comfortable and lead healthier lives if they had clean and safe water as well as proper sanitary facilities in school.

This has led to the Ministry of Education in Fiji in close collaboration with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to develop minimum water and sanitation (WASH) standards so that all schools in Fiji have access to clean and safe water, proper sanitary facilities as well as improved hygiene.

On the 15th of August, representatives from Government, Non-Government Organisations, donors and UN agencies met to discuss these standards, taking initial steps in ensuring children in schools have better WASH facilities.

Dr. Isiye Ndombi, UNICEF Pacific Representative said “WASH is an important prerequisite for ensuring the right to basic education – affecting both the number of children in schools and their educational performance. Unhygienic schools and communities lead to diarrhoea and other diseases that have been shown to lead to mental stunting and poor educational performance.”

“In addition, children that grow up in schools that promote hygiene internalised habits or practises, grow up to be adults that demand the same standards for themselves and their families,” he added.

“Providing quality education and improving WASH standards for our children is a step towards the achievement of Millennium Development Goals 4 (reducing child mortality) and 6 (reducing HIV, Malaria and other diseases) as well as the Education for All (EFA) goal 2 (good quality primary education for children in difficult circumstances),” said Ms. Alumeci Tuisawau, Acting Curriculum Development Unit Director at the Ministry of Education

The meeting with all WASH partners, “is all about providing quality life through better education provisions,” said Ms Tuisawau.

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About UNICEF
UNICEF is on the ground in over 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: http://www.unicef.org/pacificislands

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ENDS

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