Partnership in Action: UNICEF and Ucell Start Construction Work in Remote Schools of Uzbekistan
All children have the right to clean water and basic sanitation, as stated in the Convention on the Rights of a Child. The ultimate aim of UNICEF’s work in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) is to ensure that all children fulfill this right, and that no child is left behind.
In Uzbekistan UNICEF has now joined hands with the private sector, particularly those corporate entities, which are committed also to ensure that all girls and boys, especially most disadvantaged, enjoy their right to clean water and sanitation.
UNICEF in Uzbekistan and FE “COSCOM” LLC (“Ucell” trade mark), part of Telia Company telecommunication group, signed the partnership agreement in November 2016 to improve the water and sanitation conditions in 30 remote schools of Djizakh, Kashkadarya, Khorezm, Surkhandarya regions and the Republic of Karakaplakstan.
“With support from Ucell we have finalized the design of water and sanitation facilities for 17 schools, and started construction work in three of the most disadvantaged schools,” – said Khilola Aslanova, UNICEF’s WASH Officer. She continued: “In small school #46 located in Kukcha village of Turtkul district, Karakalpakstan, we are constructing a 300-meter water supply system that will benefit 250 students and staff, and around 1,000 community members.”
The construction of two toilets is also underway in school #46 of Chalysh village, Khorezm region, and in school #70 of Kuschinor village, Kashkadarya region. When completed during the summer vacations, the toilets will benefit 180 and 250 students respectively. Adolescent girls will benefit greatly, as the newly constructed facilities will help them avoid drop-outs from the education process.
“Clean water, basic toilets and good hygiene practices are essential for the survival and development of children. Today, there are around 2.4 billion people around the globe who do not use improved sanitation, and 663 million who do not have access to improved water sources,” – said Sascha Graumann, UNICEF Representative in Uzbekistan. He continued: “Through construction of sanitation facilities and water supply, UNICEF in Uzbekistan supports the effort of the Government to ensure that children are protected from diseases like diarrhea, and that parents and teachers promote the lifesaving behavior of handwashing with soap at home and in school. This initiative also adds to achieving the global goals.”
In addition to the generous grant, Ucell also provides the telecommunication support that includes free access of Ucell Internet subscribers to www.unicef.uz
website, and sending SMS on key occasions to spread awareness of critical issues, including on 15 October – Global Handwashing Day.
«We are really glad to make our contribution in unification of endeavors made by everyone who wishes to share the best with our children. As global citizens, we feel ourselves responsible for the conditions we live in and now ICT sector may play a key role and urge transformations for the better. Each of us, no matter if it is on a corporate level or individually, bears responsibility before the world where our children live and grow. I would like to thank UNICEF for providing the partnership opportunity and wish the children in Uzbekistan and the whole world to be healthy and happy!» - said Tonu Grunberg, CEO of Ucell.