FRESH Tools for Effective School HealthFirst Edition
2.2Optimal Standards for Sanitation at School
Excreta disposal facilities in schools need to be sufficient for the number of students and staff members. Separate blocks for male and female students should be provided. Separate facilities are also commonly built for male and female staff.
Sanitary urinals for boys should be provided separately, be independent of the toilet seats, and be designed for more intensive use. Washing facilities should be available at these places.
Optimal standards for sanitation at school:
Girls: one toilet cubicle for 25 girls
Boys: one toilet cubicle for 100 boys and one urinal for 40-6O boys.
There are a number of key points to be addressed when planning sanitation at schools.
Hand washing basins with clean water and soap must be provided in each toilet block.
Toilet facilities should be cleaned with soap or disinfectant at the end of every day. Cleaning duties can be the responsibility of the students, operating on a rotation basis. If this is done, then a member of staff should supervise the students to ensure that the toilets are cleaned properly and the students wash their hands properly when they are finished.
Refuse must be disposed of safely. Bins with well-fitting lids or sacks are the most appropriate containers to prevent flies and vermin from being attracted to refuse. Refuse must be removed regularly and disposed of safely.
There are many different types of excreta disposal facilities. The needs of the users and the resources available should be carefully considered to ensure that the most appropriate type of sanitation is selected. These facilities can range from ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines to modern flushing toilets (where sewerage systems are available).
Schools can be instrumental in promoting different types of sanitation. Students can be involved in the design and implementation of sanitation construction projects. They can also take part in health education by designing posters and notices to reinforce hygiene education messages. Hygiene education should be part of the school’s comprehensive health education programme in order to ensure that all students are aware of the risks of poor sanitation and hygiene, and to help them develop good hygiene practices.
2.3Minimal Acceptable Standards
If there is no municipal sewage system, and if the installation of a local wastewater system is not possible, pit-type latrines are a suitable option. Open defecation fields should not be adopted as a means of excreta disposal.
The simple pit latrine is the cheapest and most basic form of improved sanitation, but has the disadvantage of producing unpleasant odours and allowing flies to breed easily.