2021 News

When a Toilet Seems Too Good to be True

Wednesday, 3 November 2021

This year Safe Water September is supporting WaSH projects in Bangladesh, in addition to the projects we support in Vanuatu and Zimbabwe.

Our partners in Bangladesh, Community Advancement Forum (CAF) and the Bandarban Hills Churches of Christ (BHCOC), work together to help rural communities in Bangladesh install latrines, learn good hygiene practices, and have safe access to water.

One of these communities was Cramady Village. CAF undertook extensive preparations to begin installing latrines for communities who need better hygiene facilities.

However, many people in this community were unsure whether an aid organisation like CAF would follow through. One participant shared with us how they felt before the project began.

“Our data has been requested and collected many times by many people from many Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs),” they said. “Often our people refuse to provide the information, the reason being that they are not getting any programs in our village. All that happens is that people collect data.”

“We were finally approached by the CAF introducing the Community Sustainability Project (CSP) toilet installation. I personally had doubts again because of what we had experienced with other NGOs.”

Thankfully, the people in this community pushed past their doubts.

“Anyway, I agreed as did other members in our village. And the construction work began at our village, showing the reliability of the program.”

Latrines were installed in Cramady along with two other villages in the area. Later a further four villages receive latrines, as well as more being installed in Cramady. Between the villages, 100 latrines were installed in 2021! 

The participant told us, “Formerly we practiced toileting in the open, under the bushes. From generation after generation this was a habit. People from outside adjusted to our practice.”

But with a latrine installed, open defecation can be left in the past! Proper facilities like latrines and hygiene training can reduce preventable sickness and even death.

“I think having a toilet is the most important factor of maintaining health in the family and our society,” a project participant says. “It means reducing disease infection in the family and community, and safety for young girls and women. It is very supportive for improving our living standards. I appreciate the donors for this program and thank CAF for the CSP toilet installation program.”

Cramady and the surrounding villages also received hygiene training, giving them vital knowledge to protect their health. The chief of one village expressed great thanks for the program. “Health is the most [important] factor [in] human development. When we are healthy everything becomes easier in life.”

Thanks to your generous support of Safe Water September, we’ve raised over $160,000 which will help many more people in Bangladesh gain these vital facilities. In such a challenging year, this result is amazing. As many as 6400 people can now gain improved access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene!

Thank you so much for your support of Safe Water September in 2021. It’s because of people like you that we can keep making a difference, year after year.

Missed your chance to donate to Safe Water September? No worries! You can support the Community Sustainability Project, by purchasing Great Gift of a ‘Toilet.’ 

Bangladesh CAF - Community Sustainability Program is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

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