Chandra Kala, a 26 year old pregnant women is a resident of Mushari tole, Gautari; Karjanha-8, Siraha District has 3 female children, one under age 5. Her husband Ranjit Sada, 33 years old is overseas worker who has recently moved outside Nepal to earn bread and butter for his family. The economic status of his family was in extremely battered condition as Ranjit Sada used to work as daily labor earning few cents a day in Nepal that was not enough to even meet the basic requirements of his family. Where basic requirements are not met; accessory requirements are far to dream. The settlement i.e. Gautari is prone to flood and this year flood affected them badly. It has further dilapidated the situation in regard to WASH, destructing their toilets and leaving the community vulnerable to WASH. The major lacking is in awareness, use of toilet, proper management of kitchen and waste, environmental sanitation and water quality. The situation goes similar for Sada Family whose toilet has been destructed in flood and because of lack of money, Mrs. Sada has been waiting long for some relief fund from the government to make the toilet.
When Total Sanitation approach was made in Gautari, the community was triggered to make use of toilets; dish drying rack and many such in first step. The community agreed to work in the process but Mrs. Sada completely dissented due to lack of money and most importantly due to lack of awareness regarding use of toilets ended up contending and demanding for bamboos to make the dish rack. After long triggering and counseling from Change Agents regarding the importance of dish racks in drying utensils that kill bacteria present in the utensils that further add up proper hygiene behavior, Mrs Sada despite of not making bamboo rack has perceived the importance of drying utensils and currently using sack to dry utensils. Not just that, Mrs Sada has assured to make bamboo rack and toilet in few weeks after her husband sends her money to run the family smoothly. “I am collecting money to purchase bamboos. I will first complete constructing toilet and then make bamboo rack as I got to know the importance of both for proper hygiene behaviour”– Mrs. Sada.
Irresistibility, demand for subsidy are very common once we walk to change the community but triggering methods from various approaches like door to door campaign along with rigorous follow up is utmost to change the perception of the people. Change might be small but the most important thing is it should make difference in attitude and perception of people.
Written by : Archana Yadav/Mamta Verma (both are WASH Officer of Sabal Nepal Siraha Branch)
Note: The photograph of the person has been taken in consent of the concerned person.