Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene in schools: 2000-2021 Data update

WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

The WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) produces internationally comparable estimates of progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and is responsible for monitoring the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets related to WASH. This data update presents national, regional and global estimates for WASH in schools up to the year 2021, and includes additional analysis on efforts to prepare schools for future pandemics and provide disability-inclusive WASH services in schools.

Key findings

  • Drinking water: 3 in 10 schools – or 29 per cent – do not have a basic drinking water service, impacting 546 million schoolchildren.
  • Sanitation: 3 in 10 schools – or 28 per cent – do not have basic sanitation services, impacting 539 million children.
  • Hygiene: 4 out of 10 – or 42 per cent – of schools do not have basic hygiene services, impacting 802 million children.
  • Achieving universal coverage in schools globally by 2030 requires a 14-fold increase in current rates of progress on basic drinking water, a three-fold increase in rates of progress on basic sanitation, and a five-fold increase in basic hygiene services.
  • Emerging national data show that disability-accessible WASH coverage is low and varies widely between school levels and urban and rural locations, with schools more likely to have accessible drinking water than accessible sanitation or hygiene.
Globally, 3 out of 10 schools did not have basic water services in 2021

Global and regional coverage of drinking water services in schools, 2015–2021 (per cent)

89 out of 133 countries with estimates had more than 75 per cent coverage of basic drinking water services in schools in 2021

Proportion of schools with basic drinking water services, 2021 (per cent)

Only 2 out of 24 countries with data on trends in basic drinking water services in schools are on track to achieve universal access by 2030

Progress towards universal access to basic drinking water in schools, 2015–2021