Help us Keep Girls in School

In the remote hilly villages of Nepal, access to water is disrupting children’s education

Across Nepal, 59% of the population in rural areas does not have piped water services. This means that they depend on wells, or other unreliable water sources like rivers and springs, to provide them with water for their basic daily needs.

Only 60% of schools in Nepal have access to water, and access to drinking water is even lower. Schools are typically built on low cost land, such as hill tops, with poor access to water. Because of this, children are forced to carry drinking water to school and toilets without a consistent water supply are falling into disrepair.

Poor access to water at home means that many hours are wasted each day on the arduous task of collecting water. A task that children, especially girls, are expected to help with. This time-consuming chore is often prioritised over their education, making them late for school or eating into their homework time.

Poor access to water at school means that there is a limited supply of water not only for drinking, but also for washing and general school cleanliness such as keeping toilets clean. While this impacts on all pupils, it is girls who suffer most as a consequence. In fact, 30% of Nepalese girls miss school when menstruating and often drop out entirely (Her Turn, 2016).

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Manisha Karki

Manisha is 14 years old and lives in the mountainous Gulmi region of Nepal. She enjoys going to school, but a lack of water for drinking, washing and for school cleanliness presents an
ongoing challenge for her and her classmates.

Her school has a total of 330 students, of which roughly two-thirds are girls. The school has a female toilet block, yet for the 209 girls there is just one cubicle – the rest of the room is a communal urinal. As well as a lack of privacy, the toilet is dirty and there isn’t always water available for hand washing. Manisha and her friends pulled faces and shook their heads as we talked about the state of the toilets, “so dirty!”. They all skip school during their period. If these were the facilities that you had to use, wouldn’t you do the same?

Regularly missing so many days of school must take its toll, and tragically Manisha seemed to be resigned to a fate of not performing as well as the boys who attend school more regularly – simply because she’s a girl and her school does not have a reliable source of water. Read Manisha’s full story here.

Manisha’s story is not unique, it is repeated among many pupils in many schools across Nepal. Schools that are remote and that get pushed to the back of the queue for improved infrastructure and water provision.

Access to energy could make all the difference

Many of these schools are sat high above their nearest water source and lack the energy they so desperately need to lift water from the source to the school.

By providing these schools with a reliable source of renewable energy, we can dramatically change this situation for girls. With access to energy, water can be lifted hundreds of metres up to their school. And with a plentiful supply of water, we can ensure that toilet facilities, hygiene and sanitation meet the standards required to keep girls in school.

Will you help us keep girls in school by making a gift today? Just £10 a month could pay for four students to have access to clean and reliable drinking water, and improved toilet facilities.

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Water for Schools

We want to expand our solar-powered water pumping programme to bring a year-round supply of clean water for drinking, washing and school cleanliness to schools like Manisha’s. As well as ensuring a good water supply, we will also build new toilets and roll out an educational programme around good sanitation and hygiene practices for all students and teachers.

With a plentiful supply of water at school, pupils like Manisha would no longer have to worry about having enough water to drink and classes would no longer be cut short to go and fetch water. There would also be enough water to keep the toilets clean. With more cubicles, disposal facilities for menstrual hygiene pads and education to tackle myths and taboos around menstruation, we hope that Manisha and her friends will no longer feel the need to skip school during their periods.

Through our solar-powered water pumping programme, we have already helped 29 communities in Nepal drastically improve their access to water. These 29 solar systems currently pump at total of 436,843 litres of water per day. We now want to bring this technology, together with new toilet blocks and other hygiene facilities, to 10 secondary schools in the Gulmi district of Nepal. But to do this, we need your help.

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How your gift will help keep girls in school

Your gift will help fund our current solar water pumping programme, enabling us to install more
solar water pumping systems in communities that live high above their nearest water source, as well as the expansion of this programme into schools like Manisha’s.

Each facet of this work will help keep girls in schools. By providing easy access to water at a community level, accessible from a tap stand outside their home, girls will no longer have to prioritise collecting water over getting to school on time or doing their homework. And with a plentiful supply of water at school, we can ensure that girls feel comfortable going to school during their period, so that they no longer feel disadvantaged simply for being a girl.

Your support will help us improve access to water and break down the barriers to gaining an education, including:

  • Improving access to water at a community level: providing more remote
    communities with a solar water pumping solution, enabling water to be pumped
    direct to their village.
  • Improving access to water in schools: ensuring there is a plentiful supply of water
    for drinking, hand washing and cleaning.
  • Improving toilet facilities in schools and providing education around good
    sanitation and hygiene practices.

Here are some examples of the impact that your donation could have

  • £12 could pay for four students to attend an after-school club where they can learn about good sanitation and hygiene practices, menstrual health management and puberty health awareness
  • £30 could pay for one student to have access to clean and reliable drinking water, and improved toilet facilities at school
  • £45 could pay for three training sessions for students and teachers to learn about sanitation and personal hygiene, including hand washing and how to avoid the spread of waterborne diseases
  • £80 could give one family access to solar pumped water, available from a tap stand located outside their home, and the children access to water at school
  • £170 could provide the students at one school with knowledge and support for menstrual hygiene management (including: tackling myths and taboos around menstruation, uses and management of sanitary pads, pain management and body hygiene during menstruation)
  • £207 could pay for the construction of a sanitary pad disposal pit for a school, ensuring girls have adequate facilities to dispose of their sanitary waste
  • £222 could pay for a water purification filter for a school, ensuring clean drinking water for students and teachers

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10-Year Impact Report

Read our 10-Year Impact Report and find out more about our work.