International Development Planning Review

Current water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) conditions in selected schools in Port Harcourt, Nigeria

International Development Planning Review Ahead of print, 1–22.

Abstract

Access to improved water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in school contributes to an enabling learning environment and quality education, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This study investigated WASH conditions in twenty selected secondary schools in Rivers State, Nigeria with a total of 806 respondents. Results showed limited levels of WASH services according to the Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) ladder, with at least 30 per cent of schools having limited water and sanitation services and no hygiene services, and less than 10 per cent of students reporting water and soap for handwashing being always available. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations on the student-totoilet ratio (STR) were not met in most schools. This study provides new insights on WASH in schools using Rivers State, Nigeria as a case study and finds the current WASH conditions to be inadequate. Furthermore, the study provides transferable lessons having wider application across selected LMICs and can be used by stakeholders to better apply WASH interventions in schools.

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