Imagine waking up in a house without a toilet. Not only is there no toilet, but no fresh flowing water, toilet paper, soap or hand towel. Where would you go?
Vietnam has seen huge progress in improved water supplies and access to sanitation. But, it is still a major challenge for some communities to access basic toilet and hygiene facilities. For many living in rural Vietnam, the only option is to go to the toilet in open bushland. This puts their health and safety at risk.
Human waste has serious consequences for water quality and food safety. Open defecation also makes girls, women and people affected by disability more vulnerable to physical violence.
In Vietnam, over five million people are affected by disability. More than three quarters of those people also live in rural areas. This means they miss out on the benefits of economic development offered in more populated cities. This was the case for Tien and her son Sang,* who is deaf and dumb.
Global Mission Partners (GMP) works with these disadvantaged communities to help them improve their sanitation, safety, health and dignity. This happens in partnership with the Binh Phuoc Association for the Disabled the Poor and Orphans (BPADPO).
Before BPADPO heard of Tien and Sang’s situation, they were living in a run-down house with no working toilet. They had no access to basic hygiene facilities in their area. This meant that they were forced to use open spaces instead of a toilet, even though they are vulnerable due to age and disability.
Tien and Sang only have a small amount of income from a disability pension, and from selling some of their garden produce. It was not enough to cover their basic expenses, such as food and electricity. This means house upkeep and repairs were even more out of reach.
Because of support from people like you, BPADPO provided Tien and Sang with a pedestal latrine and septic tank. They were able to have their floor replaced, and build new raised roofing.
Tien was overjoyed with the repairs and additions to her home. It means that they no longer need to huddle in one corner of the house when it rains. And they do not have to leave the safety and privacy of their home to use a toilet.
Tien and Sang are not the only people who benefit from improvements like these. In areas where people have reliable access to toilets, soap and safe clean water, health is greatly improved. Drinking water is not contaminated with human waste. This means serious diseases such as cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio decrease.
With your support, disadvantaged communities can have their dignity, safety and health restored! You can help provide them not only with toilets, but also hope for a better future.
*The names of individuals in this story have been changed to protect their privacy.