Recipient Aitalama T
PROJECT LOCATION: Hindung and Barkhap villages of Sertung, Ruby Valley Rural Municipality (Dhading District), Nepal
Himalayan HealthCare constructed 200 toilets in 2022 that previously did not have toilets at home. They are now safely using them at their convenience. Before the toilets were built, these families had to visit the nearest forests or groves as early as possible to avoid social inconveniences. The children, the elderly and challenged members were the most inconvenienced but they could not go to the forests lest they fall or be hurt especially during the night or during heavy monsoon rains, even landslides and wild animal attacks, so they had to go in the yard or in the nearby fields thus dirtying and polluting their home and the neighborhood. This does not bode well with the neighbors which was disgraceful for the families. But with the new toilets the families feel uplifted and they have a sense of pride and self-worth. These are the immediate and direct impacts of the home toilets.
The one toilet built at Hindung village Health Post (clinic) has been a great convenience and relief for the two health providers who live there and also to the many patients who visit the health post which is functional every day.
Other than the safety, convenience and a sense of pride because of the new toilets at home felt by the 1000+ toilet recipient family members and the hundreds of patients visiting the Hindung health post, the public health implication is huge. Our decades long health care records show 35% gastrointestinal (GI) diseases in this community mostly due to fly-borne diseases like dysentery, diarrhea, typhoid, hepatitis A, etc., with an average of five GI episodes a year especially among children. The children also become malnourished and prone to other diseases. This is significantly curtailed as the flies have less fecal matters to feed on due to closed toilets, as opposed to open-defecation, and therefore there is less disease. There is strong correlation between the toilet and the health of the community and the health impact is immediate even if the community may not have much thought about it. This can be verified better in a years’ time after checking and comparing the health post records of the past two years.
The community has also realized that there is very little open-defecation and that its cleaner everywhere and some even point out a neighbor who does not have a toilet as they know that every household needs one and that they are still vulnerable if everyone does not have one. Also every toilet recipient family (200 HH with 1000+ members) has received a lessons on how to use and clean the toilets, importance of using soap and water to wash hands after use and how diseases are thus prevented. The recipients, the leaders and the community are very happy with the expansion of the toilet program.
Recipient Phulmaya T
HHC supevisor measuring the size of the toilet
Pans ready to be distributed