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Where There is a will There’s a Way
Where There is a will There’s a Way

Where There is a will There’s a Way

The village Haji Pirani Phull, UC Daraza Sharif, Taluka Gambat, District Khairpur consists of 59 households. The main occupation of majority of the villagers is farming, mason and labour work.

Wazir Ali aged 30 years, resident of village Haji Pirano Khan, working as a mason is the only bread earner of his family. HANDS intervened in Haji Pirano Khan village, and conducted awareness sessions to stop open defection and informed of the diseases related with open defecation and they met many community members including Wazir Ali.

Village members formed the Village WASH Community (VWC) in order to support the community to keep an eye on the hygiene and health issues, Wazir Ali was part of this committee as a member. He started regular meetings with Community Resource Person (CRP) and other VWC members along with community. The meetings and awareness sessions were a chance to learn about hygiene which he never knew. ”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 how important handwashing is”, Wazir explained.

HUSNA KARIM –– The Hygiene Champion
HUSNA KARIM –– The Hygiene Champion

Lack of hygiene and open defecation is the root cause of many problems faced by people living in rural areas. The HANDS Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Department has identified that the solution to this problem lies in creating awareness and bringing about behavioral change. Husna is one of the women in rural areas of Pakistan that have benefitted from our WASH initiative and is, in turn, helping her community.

I am Husna from Islampur, Larkana Sindh and I am a proud member of the HANDS WASH Committee. As a mother of 9 children, I have always worried about the health and welfare of my children and luckily for me, HANDS team came in a few years ago. They carried out a PRA (Participatory Rural Assessment) and analyzed that the main issue affecting our village was that of the unhygienic conditions due to open defecation. The HANDS team explained to us that the diseases that our people were suffering from, and the abject poverty we faced, was due to the germs in the environment caused by human waste not being disposed of properly.
The CRP (Community Resource Person) sessions held by the HANDS team were an eye-opener, and some of our community members built washrooms. We immediately noticed that the health of our people was improving due to this development. Initially, my daughters used to go to the neighbors’ homes to use the bathroom, but this was not a comfortable arrangement.
It occurred to me to use the gold I got for my dowry, because it was just lying there, when in fact, I could use it to make my family’s life better. I sold the gold from which we renovated our house and made washrooms. Using some of the money I had also set up a small kiosk selling vegetables and other grocery items.
At 65 years of age, I am a matriarch of my family and am well-respected in the community, which is why HANDS chose me to create awareness. At the store, I make it a point to tell my customers to wash the vegetables properly and also to take care of hygiene. I am grateful to HANDS because they have helped improve not only my family’s lives, but have also motivated me to help the community get better.

Open Defecation Free – A challenge to Health, Equity and Dignity
Open Defecation Free – A challenge to Health, Equity and Dignity

Open defecation is a serious threat on sanitation health and dignity.

In Pakistan, 25 million people still practice Open Defecation and women are the ones who are the worst affected. The death toll from diarrheal diseases shows that 53,000 Pakistani children under five die annually from diarrhea due to poor water and sanitation. The women are exposed to not only health hazards but sexual abuse and violence every single day and especially after nightfall.

Girls stop their education not for lack of desire, but for lack of sanitation. HANDS – WASH program is committed to the SDG target of providing clean water and sanitation to its target communities and to address the issue of sanitation Community Led Total Sanitation -CLTS approach has been adopted. CLTS is an innovative methodology for mobilizing communities to completely eliminate Open Defecation (OD).

Communities are facilitated to conduct their own appraisal and analysis of open defecation (OD) and take their own action to become ODF (open defecation free). Pakistan Approach to Total Sanitation- PATS emphasize towards behavior change and social mobilization endorsing the use of a number of branded total sanitation models, having a key role of communities, which include, Community Led Total Sanitation, School Led Total Sanitation, Component Sharing, Sanitation Marketing and Disaster Response HANDS has implemented Water and Sanitation activities with respect to ODF in 16 districts.

The target communities were sensitized with the help of Community Resource Persons – CRPs/Village Wash Committees- VWC regarding the hazards of open defecation/poor sanitary practices and its consequences. The receptive environment created through the collective efforts made it possible that all the target villages have been declared Open Defecation Free.

An ‘Open Defecation Free’ village is characterized by Excreta free open spaces, Excreta free open drains / discharges, Excreta free hands, and Sustaining of this status.

Overall 2822 villages have been declared Open Defecation Free

In the intervention districts the Open Defecation status has changed as compared to non- intervention districts and status of PDHS 2017-18 areas 55% of intervention areas have flush system to sewerage tank as compared to 40.3 in non intervention areas and 29.9% in PDHS 29% villages.