Lack of Clean Water in Schools

, Written by: Muhammad Arif Rahimi

UNICEF said last year that about 10000 children die of diarrhea each year in Afghanistan. The main cause of this issue is drinking contaminated water.

 A large number of children go to school and drink contaminated water in some schools and they might face health problem.

AEPO’s writer/producer has talked to some students, parents, and teachers.

Farhad, a patient in Ghazni infectious diseases hospital, Ghazni city, Ghazni province says: “I drank contaminated water and now I am suffering from diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.”

Sayed Hamdullah, a resident of Jalalabad city, Nangarhar province says: “I drank contaminated water in school. when I went home, I faced stomachache, diarrhea, and vomiting.”

Faridullah Omari, an infectious diseases specialist says: “children who drink contaminated water in schools, microbes, bacteria, germs and viruses enter into the body and they might suffer from amoeba, giardiasis, diarrhea, typhoid, jaundice, stomachache, fatigue, weariness, and cholera. If these not treated on time, the patient(s) might die.”

What are the causes of the existence of contaminated water in schools?

A girl says that some wells in schools are not covered and they are dug near to the toilets, therefore the water from these wells would be contaminated.

A student from Badghis province says: “we drink water from a barrel and we always face various health problems and I think the main cause of our illness is the barrel because it might be affected by rust and we drink contaminated water.”

A student of one of Paghman high schools says that their school doesn’t have water handpump or well, and they are drinking stream water.

How could families and schools’ administrations solve the problem of contaminated water?

Nilofar Ibrahimkhail, the principal of Paghman girls’ high school says: “a foreign NGO installed a water handpump in our school but it lasted a short time, then they brought a water storage and installed a water pump. We lock the cover of the water storage and we regularly wash it and now our students drink clean water and they have not faced illness due to contaminated water.”

Tela Muhammad, a resident of Chahar Asiab district, Kabul province says: “my five daughters and two sons are going to schools. We give them boiled water in bottles and they take them to school and yet they have not faced any kind of diseases.”