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Shree Bhanu Primary School, Nepal

Our Communications Officer in Nepal, Mani Karmacharya, visits Shree Bhanu Primary School, where a lack of access to safe water is causing some students to miss classes.

Shree Bhanu Primary School is a small school with 77 students. It is located in Lahan, in Nepal's Eastern Development Region. Like many schools in Nepal, there is no tap for children to use at school, and it only has a small four-chambered toilet which is in a poor condition.

Meet the staff and pupils

Hiralal Mahato

Hiralal Mahato, Principal, Shree Bhanu School, Nepal.
Photo: WaterAid/Mani Karmacharya

Hiralal Mahato has been the principal at Shree Bhanu Primary School since 1995. "I feel bad about the water and toilet facilities at my school. As teachers, we should be able to tell children to keep the surroundings clean, but we can't stop them from going to the toilet outside because they have nowhere else to go," says Hiralal.

There is no drinking water at Shree Bhanu, so the school's assistant brings a bucket of water from a nearby handpump. There isn't enough water for everyone at the school, so some students go to nearby houses in the community to drink water. This means that many miss classes, and Hiralal isn't sure whether the water they drink is safe or not.

Sabita Kumari Yadav

Sabita Kumari Yadav, student at Shree Bhanu School, Nepal
Photo: WaterAid/Mani Karmacharya

10-year-old Sabita thinks there should be easy access to water, taps and toilets at school. "Most students go to an open area to go to the toilet. Everybody should be able to use a toilet and it should be kept clean too," says Sabita.

The lack of water at school also causes problems between students. "After we play, we get thirsty, and I don't like to fight for the water as everyone wants it first. So instead I go to nearby houses to drink water, which means I miss classes."

Debendra Kumar Mahato

Debendra Kumar Mahato, student at Shree Bhanu School, Nepal
Photo: WaterAid/Mani Karmacharya

10-year-old Debendra likes the idea of going to a school with a tap and a toilet. "It will be very good for our studies, as we won't have to think all the time about going to the toilet in an open place. Whenever I come back to school after going to the toilet outside, I worry the girls will tease me. I know it's shameful," says Debendra.

A transformation

Thanks to support from schools like yours, Shree Bhanu Primary School will be transformed with a toilet, handpump, water tank, tap and handwashing basin. Sanitation and hygiene sessions will also be organised to make sure pupils use these vital resources effectively.