HEALTHY HABITS - A CHILD'S BEST FRIEND

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“These days I have become great friends with my little granddaughter,” says 67 year old Chandra Bahadur B.K, smiling.

Chandra Bahadur lives at Tingring village of Resh VDC Ward No. 2 in Baglung district with his son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter. His wife passed away a year ago due to tuberculosis. Now, his daily routine is to babysit his granddaughter as her parents are busy with outdoor activities.

After the implementation of the Tingring Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project with technical and financial assistance from Nepal Water for Health (NEWAH), Chandra has adopted new hygienic behaviours in his day-to-day life. 

His participation in the health and hygiene programmes, as well as suggestions from the Health and Sanitation Facilitators (HSFs) during monthly monitoring gave him information to support his family in the implementation of healthy habits. 

Chandra came to know the reasons behind water-borne diseases like diarrhoea and the control methods to avoid them. In addition to that, he also received an opportunity to learn about the critical times for washing hands and the mode of doing so. Before this, Chandra didn’t have any knowledge on hygienic behaviour. Now, he has constructed a toilet, dish-washing slab and dish-drying rack, and he has even placed water buckets with sprouts at the dish-washing area. 

He says his family have a much easier life after making and using these structures. He adds, “After knowing that unhygienic habits are the reasons behind my granddaughter’s sickness, I have been washing my hands during critical times. Water buckets with sprouts have made it easier to wash my hands with soap. Also, the permanent washing areas have helped to keep the house clean and wash dishes, and by using our new toilet, the environment is cleaner.” 

Household sanitation and adopting healthy habits can prevent disease. Chandra further says, “My granddaughter used to fall sick time and again but now she is no longer affected by diarrhoea. So, am not I my child’s best friend?” 

All of us adore our children, but it is important to promote hygienic behaviour so as to avoid water-borne diseases and ensure they are healthy, clean and safe. 

Feeling emotional Chandra says, “If only everyone could attain this kind of programme, there wouldn’t have been an annual loss of 10,500 infants under five. I wish to hear that everyone in Nepal has access to safe drinking water and use clean toilets before I pass away.”

Tingring WASH projects covers 177 households, one secondary and one primary school, which were completed on the Fiscal Year 2010/11. A total of 33 water taps were constructed for the beneficiaries. Both school toilets now have a separate urinal chamber while 63 permanent toilets were made using sanitation promotion funds which are being used by 173 households. The remaining 4 houses are using temporary toilets and are on the verge of making them permanent.

Written by: Kopila Lamichhane
Name & Location of Project: Tingring Water supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Baglung District, Resh VDC Ward no. 2
Donor Agency: charity: water
Case Study Date: July 2011