With new skills, they’re building brand-new toilets
for each other, with each other. Only a few years ago she had to use the outdoors – the stream or a nearby ditch because for years toilets weren’t available. When everyone in the village did the same, fresh water supply became contaminated and she’d get sick. For generations, Noy’s community have been working long days in the rice field, raising children – building toilets was both too expensive and not a priority among life’s pressures.
Noy’s community is supported by Plan International to learn the skills they need to build toilets
, and practice good hygiene like washing hands with soap. Now, Noy proudly has her very own loo. So what happened when Noy met her brand-new toilet for the first time? “I felt confused, and shocked. I thought, where does it go?!” The toilet quickly became her pride and joy. “It’s about life,” she says. “I want my village to be healthy, and to stay healthy.”
Three years ago, the health of this community was poor – people got sick regularly, suffering from diahorrea and vomiting. Unaware, they were contributing to a statistic Plan International is trying to tackle: diarrhoea-related diseases cause one tenth of deaths among children under five. Many communities are haven’t adopted good hygiene practices, and or knowledge that open defecation can contaminate water supplies and cause illness.
Noy remembers this sickness well. “I got sick and vomited and had a terrible stomach ache.” But she was also concerned for the children in her village. “Parents go to the rice field, and after school children stay at home playing in dirt and poo around the village - then the father complains about being sick, or the daughter is sick.”