Africa is among the continents with the worst toilet facilities in schools. The continent joins Asia on this list.
Most countries in Africa are reported by a new report from UNICEF to have some of the worst toilet and hand washing facilities.
Drinking water for children in schools is also a problem according to the report released on Monday. The situation according to the report puts millions of children at risk of disease.
UNICEF is also worried about the situation globally saying nearly half the world’s schools lack toilet facilities.
The report says almost 900 million children struggle for basic hygiene facilities in school, putting their health at risk. Some are forced to miss classes as a result.
A lead researcher on the project, Dr Rick Johnston who is also with the World Health Organisation says “You can’t have a quality learning environment without these basics.”
“Children may not come to school at all if there’s no toilets … Then, when they are at school, they are not going to at their very best if they are not able to use a decent toilet or if they are not properly hydrated.”
There is a global effort to fix the problem. World leaders have signed up to global pledges to provide safe water and hygiene facilities for all.
They also pledged to ensure every child gets a comprehensive education by 2030 under the UN’s sustainable development goals.
South Africa this month announced plans to eradicate pit latrine toilets from its schools after several deaths in parts of the country.
The country’s President Cyril Ramaphosa launched a programme to remove all pit latrines from public schools.
The government says removing pit latrines from all schools will now take two years.