Menstrual Hygiene Management in schools of Nepal

by Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness
Menstrual Hygiene Management in schools of Nepal
Menstrual Hygiene Management in schools of Nepal
Menstrual Hygiene Management in schools of Nepal
Menstrual Hygiene Management in schools of Nepal
Menstrual Hygiene Management in schools of Nepal
Menstrual Hygiene Management in schools of Nepal
Menstrual Hygiene Management in schools of Nepal
Menstrual Hygiene Management in schools of Nepal
New girl and child friendly toilet
New girl and child friendly toilet

ECCA recently constructed separate boys and girl friendly toilets in Shree Sishu Shakshar Basic School of Mechinagar -1, Jhapa. The school has 193 female students.

Lack of proper toilets and water faciltiies had been problematic for both students and the teachers. The number of girls in this government school is much higher than boys. Due to lack of girl friendly toilet in the school, girl students have been facing comparatively much more adjustment problems during school time. "It was not uncommon for 2 to 3 girls taking leave everyday due to menstruation related issue", shared a female teacher.

Chadani, president of school's nature club, aged 13, has been witnessing different kinds of problem regarding menstrual hygiene. She expressed “We used to take lot of leave and we were also not able to express our feelings with our teachers, parents and even our colleagues. But after construction of girl friendly toilet and menstrual hygiene training conducted by ECCA, now we don’t take leave that often during menstruation. We now feel more comfortable talking about it."

ECCA has also guided the school club, such that the students themselves take care of cleaning the toilet, as part of their daily routine.

“Now, all our children are much happier. Especially, girl students are less compelled to go home during menstruation. The school club started to provide sanitary pads to female students without any hesitation. Also, with facility of changing room, towels, soaps the students are having a more comfortable learning environment”, says the principal. “We are very thankful towards ECCA for helping us create this environment”, he added.

Overall, the construction of the toilets and related facilities has contributed to better hygiene and higher attendance of students. We are very thankful for your support.

Toilet with incinerator and information on MHM
Toilet with incinerator and information on MHM
ECCA counselors painting hygiene messages
ECCA counselors painting hygiene messages
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Students using toilet during break time
Students using toilet during break time

WASH (Water, sanitation and hygiene) infrastructures support provided by ECCA in Mahendra Secondary School, Kavrepalanchowk is finally bringing positive changes in the school. The infrastructure support included construction of both boys toilet and girl friendly toilet along with water facilities.

Before, the school had single toilet for all students and teachers. But the use of the toilet was minimum. "We had toilet but no water. Without proper water facilities, the toilets were undoubtedly in really bad condition. Many students used to go home if they needed to go for long toilets."

The construction has now eased that harsh situation. According to teachers, students are now a lot regular to school than before. "Especially, separate girls toilet and the incinerator (for burning used sanitary napkins) plus water facilities has benefitted our female students during the time of menstruation, as they can easily change pads in school and, also, disposal is not a problem now", said a female teacher.

Around 120 female students have been benefitted by our girl friendly toilet construction support.

Most importantly, the support has bettered hygiene behavior among smaller students as well.

We are really thankful for your support. Your continuous help will enable us to provide better environment for girls to attend school.

Students now have better access to water
Students now have better access to water
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Condition of Temporary toilets
Condition of Temporary toilets

Namdu is one of the villages of Dolakha district that was severely affected by the earthquake of 2015. This village lies 135 kilometers far from Kathmandu valley (5 to 6 hours travel from Kathmandu) and supports a huge range of people belonging to different ethnic groups. ECCA has been working in several schools of the village since a year. 

Jalpadevi Basic School, lying in Namdu village, is one of the schools that needs improvement in WASH (Water, sanitation and hygiene) sector. The school has total 121 students, where 60% are female. However, the situation of toilet (unavailability of water, disposal place for sanitary pads etc.) has been a discouragement for students to carry out safe hygiene practices. “After the destruction of toilet during the earthquake, 2 temporary toilets were built. This provided some relief for all of us”, says one of the teachers. “But these toilets soon reached a condition which compelled students and teachers to go to the nearby jungle.”

Seeing the difficulties, ECCA supported the school to build a 3 roomed girl friendly toilet, where there is also separate urinal space. A handwashing station will also be constructed. The toilet is in the construction process and will soon be equipped with proper water facility and an incinerator to burn used sanitary pads.

How will this affect the health and education?

"With the new toilet facilities, healthy behaviours that students learn will certainly come into practice. The trend  of being absent from school among menstruating female students will decrease", says a female teacher. "We'll also be talking about it with the students, so they feel encouraged to come to school during menstruction cycle."

“We are really thankful for the support”, shared the students.

ECCA is also thankful to all our contributors who have helped to make this possible. Your continuous support will help us to improve school environment of more schools in rural Nepal. 

New girl friendly toilet in construction
New girl friendly toilet in construction
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New girls toilet (left building)
New girls toilet (left building)

Amar Secondary School lies in Dolakha district of Nepal. Situated at 36 km from Charikot, the centre of Dolakha, the school welcomes around 190 students from surrounding villages.  Although more than half of the students are girls, the topic of menstruation has been a shy subject among them.

"It is not strange to stay absent during menstruation", says Sujata, one girl student from grade 10. "The problem is the lack of comfort in school." The toilet they had till now was quite far from the school, which was difficult during emergency period especially for students from lower classes. The 3 roomed toilet was too small and was used by both boys and girls.  

"We did not have proper ventilation and water facility in our previous toilet", shared one of the teachers. "But using it was a compulsion. Even we teachers used to go to the same toilet."

Realizing the health impact of such toilets, ECCA helped the school to build new toilet within the school vicinity. This new toilet has proper water facility and an incinerator to burn used sanitary pads. With the new toilet, both students and teachers are now relieved.

"Separate hand washing place has made it even easier", says another student.

The toilet is spacious and well ventilated. As part of ownership development activity, ECCA initiated Wall Painting Program on the occasion of World Menstrual Hygiene Day, in which the students painted their new toilets with various messages related to hygiene, sanitation and menstruation.

Use of toilets has started, which is expected to bring comfort among students along with increased attendance and positive behavioral changes.

As part of school environment improvement program, ECCA has also been conducting various WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) related programs in the school. With frequent orientation and interaction programs regarding menstruation and menstrual hygiene management, we aim to bring positive attitude regarding menstruation in the school and community.

We thank you for the support.

A student paints messages on Menstrual Hygiene Day
A student paints messages on Menstrual Hygiene Day
Incinerator used for burning pads
Incinerator used for burning pads
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Old toilet
Old toilet

In our journey of providing better WASH facilities to students in rural schools of Nepal, we have been approaching remote schools, which includes those from Kavrepalanchowk district. This district lies near the capital city Kathmandu, yet has inadequate facilities in terms of health and sanitation.

Mahendra Secondary School, situated at Sanga, Kavrepalanchowk had been facing the problem of toilet and water supply. Girls toilet, boys toilet and teachers toilet all were combined and one had to go far just to fetch a bucket of water. The earthquake of April 2015 worsened the situation. Both the school buildings and toilets were damaged.

Through fund search, the school rebuilt the classrooms, whereas toilet facilities became their secondary priority. “Considering the number of students we had, the toilet we had previously was not adequate in any case. Students would be lining in queues during breaks and having to fetch water for toilet use from far away was a huge problem”, revealed one of the teachers. “But first, we had to make classrooms.”

Identifying the need, ECCA helped Mahendra Secondary School to build both boys toilet and girl friendly toilet in the school premise. Separate toilet was constructed for boys and girls (each having 3 rooms) with proper water facilities (along with water tank and piping). The girl friendly toilet also has an incinerator for proper burning of used sanitary pads.

“Now, we feel happy that the situation has become easier for us”, says a female student relating to comfortable environment during menstruation period. “It is much easier for us girls. The choice we had to make previously, between choosing to stay at school being teased by boys or going home, is now fading.”

Around 120 female students from Grade 5 to 12 have been benefitted by our girl friendly toilet construction support.

We are very thankful for your help.

Inside view of the newly constructed toilet
Inside view of the newly constructed toilet
Incinerator at the back of the toilet
Incinerator at the back of the toilet
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Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness

Location: Lalitpur, Bagmati - Nepal
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Prachet Kumar Shrestha
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Lalitpur, Bagmati Nepal
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