A life-changing experience to further education

WaterAid/ Sibtain Haider

Wearing a colourful traditional dress, Sawaira, a 7-year-old student at a school in Tharparkar, was all jubilant while washing her hands in a newly installed handwashing facility in her school.

Like many girls her age, school is the only place where Sawaira learns and enjoys the company of friends. She says, “If we don’t wash our hands, they smell bad and that attracts parasites, which create diseases. With clean water, we will be healthy, and stay clean.” 

Sawaira, 7, in front of the WaterAid installed WASH facility in her school in the village of Pabuvero, Union Council Chhachhro, District Tharparkar, Pakistan, August 2016

Most of the girls studying in Sawaira’s school are eager to learn and keen to go for further education but a lack of access to basic WASH facilities has had a profound impact when they hit puberty. For over a decade, children either go home or defecate in the open. Even in the school, water collection was the responsibility of the students. They used to fill the bucket of water for themselves to drink. As a result, children are often left thirsty during class, affecting their ability to concentrate. In addition, the school had become a place where children were exposed to infections. 

It was only until hope arrived, particularly for girls through the construction of a new toilet block with handwashing facility. Now, there is a consistent supply of clean, safe water for the pupils to drink and keep themselves and their school clean. For Sawaira, the results are simple, but life-changing.