The introduction of sanitation in remote communities, where people are not used to change and have used the ‘open air’ for defecation since ages, is not achieved by the simple act of building facilities. Due to local poverty and lack of awareness health/hygiene related to unsafe sanitation communities were not building or using toilets. Almost all kind of water and vector borne diseases were prevalent, and the most important aspect of sanitation intervention, in taluka Gambat or anywhere else was to make people aware of the dangers of faeces in the open and of link of sanitation and hygiene in promoting healthy living, dignity and cleanliness.
The village Haji Pirani Phull, UC Daraza Sharif, Taluka Gambat, District Khairpur consist of 59 households. The main occupation of majority of the villagers is farming, mason and labor work.
Wazir Ali aged 30 years old residence of village Haji Pirano Khan working as a mason is the only bread earner of his family.
Before HANDS intervention he was not aware about health and safety measurement and hygiene issues. When Unicef funded partner, HANDS intervened in Haji Pirano Khan village, and conducted awareness sessions to stop open defection and informed of the diseases related with open defecation they met many community members including Wazir Ali and he with his passion immediately believed in the need to act.
With HANDS intervention, village members formed the Village Wash Community (VWC) in order to support the community and keep an eye on the hygiene and health issues Wazir Ali was interested to be part of this committee as a member and started regular meetings with CRP and other VWC members along with community. The meetings and awareness session were a chance to learn about the hygiene, which he never knew before.
Connecting to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 underlined the need to increase people’s participation in ensuring universal access to water and sanitation Wazir Ali has done his job voluntarily.
‘’I made a promise to myself to create a sustainable community. It was also important that ‘new practitioners’ fully understand how to use the toilet properly, and that they introduce systems of keeping the toilet clean and its maintenance, making them realize that fingers can be a means of passing on disease, and take the trouble to wash their hands (Wazir Said).
In the training of Masons, he learnt the basics of the water, sanitation, and hygiene issues, furthermore, he also learned how to construct adequate latrines at low cost, the proper disposal of excreta, and the wastewater management.
After the training, Wazir Ali introduced low-cost wet-land model latrine. He installed this model outside his house in order to orient the community and started to work on local capacities and skills. He always tried hard to gather all the villagers at one place and briefly described all that he had learned and how the present practice being done was harmful for them and their children. Initially his friend and relative in the village mocked him, but he did not give up and continued to talk and share his newly learnt knowledge with all at every opportunity, which slowly started showing results with people listening to him and then also gradually adopting the good hygiene practice. The biggest reason cited was poverty, and the villagers said that they can’t afford latrines, or if they construct latrine than there is no proper drainage system to properly dispose the excreta. He then shared the pit latrine model, which had been shared with them by UNICEF and HANDS team.
Installation of wetland
Wazir said, “ with the support of HANDS, I constructed a latrine plus prepared a model of wetland that would not only solve the waste disposal problem but would also protect the environment.”
The collaboration of VWC, HANDS WASH team members, and CRPs all the houses in the Haji Pirano Khan village have now constructed the conventional latrines. Wazir Ali proudly says “ Now my village is one of the open defecation free villages because of HANDS intervention, we are all very thankful to UNICEF for their support and making us aware of our wrong practice and also giving us affordable and sustainable solutions.”