TEMPO.CO, Tangerang - The Tangerang district education office in Banten province has built school sanitation facilities at 750 locations, stated an official.
"In cooperation with PT Cipta Karya, we have built school sanitation facilities at 750 locations in our efforts to make the school students feel comfortable," Tangerang Education Office spokesman Abdul Gani noted on Wednesday.
According to Gani, good schools need good students, and good students also need good sanitation facilities, which are the core of human dignity and progress.
"Access to sanitary toilets not only ensures dignity of the individual but also have a positive impact on the health, well-being, and productivity. They also reduce dropout rates and encourage regular attendance in schools," he pointed out.
Abdul noted that recognizing the key significance of sanitation and the role of students as the agents of change, the Tangerang district education office, in collaboration with PT Cipta Karya, is making every effort to provide good sanitation facilities in schools in the district.
Gani further remarked that the school sanitation initiative aims to inculcate good sanitation habits among school children and to teach them about dirt and diseases, and what they can practically do to improve their health through better sanitation and hygiene.
"Construction and the use of appropriate child-friendly sanitary facilities (hand-washing stations, soaps, and toilets) can be especially effective in reducing diarrhea," he emphasized.
Abdul stated that the construction of sanitation facilities in schools will include toilets, garbage disposal, water drains, and clean water supply.
He pointed out that several schools in Tangerang did not have adequate toilets and clean water facilities due to which the students were left with no choice but to defecate elsewhere.
"Some students had to even defecate in the bushes near the school, but after the implementation of the sanitation program, they finally feel comfortable because their schools have toilets," he pointed out.
Abdul affirmed that the school sanitation program in Tangerang also aims to familiarize the students to lead a healthy lifestyle, so that they can defecate in a designated place.
He remarked that the school sanitation program is part of the Indonesia Urban Water Sanitation and Hygiene (IUWASH) project to be implemented in 60 months from 2011 to 2016.
Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the IUWASH supports Indonesia's MDG target for safe water and sanitation.
It seeks to ensure clean water supply and equitable access among urban communities by addressing the challenges faced by agencies providing water utilities, including costs and sustainability.
However, the IUWASH also cooperates with the government, private sector, non-government organizations (NGOs), community groups, and other stakeholders to improve access to clean water and urban sanitation in Indonesia.