|Aug.28,2008-- A UN report published Monday finds that nearly 570 million children around the world do not have access to drinking water at school.
The first-ever global assessment of water and sanitation in schools, which was conducted by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), shows that 620 million children do not have decent toilets at school and around 900 million cannot wash their hands properly.
The report adds that nearly half, or 47 percent, of the schools, do not provide soap for children.
Researchers also find that children at nursery and primary schools are less likely to have access to clean water and toilets than children at secondary school.
The report warns that this affects young children at an important time for their "cognitive and physical development and growth," adding that diarrhea caused by dirty water and poor toilets kills a child under the age of five every two minutes.
The report underlines the importance of hygiene and sanitation facilities in schools, particularly for girls, who are more likely to attend school and complete their education if these facilities are in place.
One of the sustainable development goals of the United Nations is that all people should have access to decent water and sanitation by 2030. This means that all households, schools, health care facilities and workplaces should be equipped with decent water and sanitation by then.