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Our site visit to Bhutan

In May and June 2012, Wavin and Unicef (the Netherlands and Bhutan) visited five schools that are taking part in clean water and sanitation programs. They were joined by representatives of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health.

-->> View pictures from this visit
The water challenges facing Bhutan

Bhutan suffers from erratic rainfall. Three to four months of high intensity rains are followed by eight months of drought. At some schools, water is only available for 20 minutes a day. Other schools are considering cutbacks in enrollment due to a lack of water.

Sustainability of water supply is of great interest to the Bhutanese government. Rainwater harvesting systems, which re-use rainwater, are being considered at four different schools.
Human interest stories

Read how access to water and sanitation changes the lives of many children in Bhutan.

-->> We get tired carrying water every day … download pdf
-->> Changing Lives at Phochudumra School … download pdf

Project objectives:

The project in Bhutan was adopted by Providing Essentials for Children in late 2011. Upon completion, 5000 children and their schools will benefit from new facilities and hygiene training.

This includes:

  • Water facilities in 26 schools
  • Sanitation facilities in 38 schools
  • Rainwater harvesting systems at 4 schools (pilot project)
  • Hygiene training for 154 teachers

At a glance

Rural population
Life expectancy
Child mortality under 5 years
Child mortality under 1 year
Access to clean drinking water
Access to sanitation facilities
Boys that go to school
Girls that go to school
Adult illiteracy

66 years
79 children per 1000
52 children per 1000
92% (2008) 88% rural
65% (2008) 54% rural
53% (2005 - 2008)
Source Unicef
Bhutan is one of the world’s poorest and least developed countries. According to the United Nations' development program, 26.2% of Bhutan’s population lives on less than 1.25 US dollars per day. Around 30% of the people live below poverty line.

The majority of the population lives in rural areas, where poverty is a pressing issue. The lack of clean water and sanitation facilities is a major cause of disease. About 30 % of schools have insufficient water supply and sanitation facilities. This severely affects students’ attendance, performance and the quality of their education.

-->> View Bhutan fact sheet
 -->> Back to projects page