A total of 671,428 Syrians have registered as refugees in Jordan since 2011, 125,642 (18.7%) of which are registered in camps.
In both Azraq and Za’atari camps, school aged children make up nearly a third of the population, and enrolment rates for formal schools are near 75%. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is the lead agency for the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector in Jordan and coordinates all related activities in both Azraq and Za’atari refugee camps. Though WASH infrastructure and practices have been thoroughly studied and mapped in both camps, comparatively little has been documented covering WASH infrastructure and practices in the camp schools. To address this knowledge gap, UNICEF consulted REACH to conduct an assessment on WASH infrastructure in schools, and on the sanitation and hygiene knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of school aged children.
For each camp, the assessment included two phases, the first of which was a census level WASH infrastructure assessment in schools combined with 22 Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) with heads of schools, 8 KIIs with WASH actors, and 34 Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with educational staff. All KIIs and FGDs were purposively sampled. The infrastructure assessment evaluated facilities for students enrolled in all kindergarten (KG), formal, and certified non-formal education (NFE) schools in Azraq and Za’atari camps. The second phase included a randomly sampled student sanitation and hygiene KAP survey of school aged children (referred to as students).
The student survey was representative of the camp’s student population with a 95% confidence level and a 5% margin of error. In total 797 students were interviewed as part of the KAP survey; 406 in Azraq and 391 in Za’atari.
Data was collected for this assessment in May, June and September 2018.
Overall, the infrastructure assessment and KIIs with both WASH actors and heads of school, revealed that schools in both Azraq and Za’tari are generally able to maintain the required standards for cleanliness in WASH centres.
Though the toilets and handwashing facilities were generally well kept and functioning, a significant number of toilets were not accessible. Additionally, the WASH centres were not all provided with sufficient materials for students to appropriately manage their personal hygiene. While water was provided to flush toilets, a large number of WASH centres did not have any soap available for students to wash their hands. Students in Za’atari generally reported worse hygiene behaviours outside of school than those in Azraq, which may be the result of inadequate education relating to health and hygiene behaviours compounded by limited household conversations related to health and hygiene.