Nov 18 2015

Sanitation solutions for World Toilet Day

According to the United Nations, 2.5 billion people lack access to proper sanitation, including toilets or latrines, with dramatic consequences on human health, dignity and security, the environment, and social and economic development.

In an area of Santa Ana, El Salvador, 7-year-old Hector said he now feels comfortable going to the bathroom because nobody can see him. The family used to have an open latrine where a passerby could see in. The family’s new latrine is a safe, clean space with four walls.

Morena, a mother in El Salvador, had seven people living under one roof and needed a new latrine. The family’s income totaled about $24 a week, and building a new latrine would mean going without other daily necessities. When they received help from Unbound for a new latrine, Morena said she thanked God for the support.

In rural Tanzania, Laura, her husband and their five children had a run-down latrine that was unhygienic. Laura feared for her family’s health. Using sponsorship funds, the family budgeted and saved and was able to build a new latrine.

Lacking access to proper sanitation, like toilets or latrines, can create major health problems as well as environmental issues. According to the United Nations, this problem affects 2.5 billion people worldwide. It can also affect the dignity and security of a person and the social and economic development of an area.

World Toilet Day is a day to raise awareness in support of all people who do not have access to proper sanitation.

At Unbound, we’re doing something about the problem.

In El Salvador, donor support allowed communities to build latrines that were sanitary and offered privacy, restoring dignity to several families.

For sponsored child Hector, his family’s new latrine is covered on all sides and painted a bright green. It’s clean, there are no bugs and the family is healthy. Hector’s grandmother Rosa is happy for this gift.

“Now we have a clean place for our family,” Rosa said.

Donor support provided an opportunity for families like Hector’s who didn’t have the finances to pay for a new latrine.

Morena, a mother of sponsored children in El Salvador, received a latrine similar to the one Hector’s family got.

Morena is certain that her family would have had health problems if they continued using their old latrine. She’s also pleased that the new latrine is better for the environment.

“I think it is a benefit for our community,” Morena said. “We as families couldn’t pay for this. Thanks to God and our sponsors we have this latrine.”

Another way of raising awareness about proper sanitation is through education. Unbound in Uganda conducts education campaigns through parent groups, and forms sanitation committees to assess conditions and help build latrines for families who need them.

Teddy Naluwu, coordinator for Unbound in Uganda, helped establish the sanitation campaign that educates parents and family members.

“Many of our families have shown a positive attitude toward the campaign,” Teddy said. “They have put up proper latrines and they are acting as ambassadors in their local communities. We are very happy to report that since the campaign started in 2014, 75 percent of our families have already completed constructing latrines and the others are in the process of [building latrines].”

In addition to building their own latrines, sponsored friends and their families in Uganda and elsewhere are telling others what they’ve learned about sanitation.

After Laura in Tanzania had a new latrine built for her family, she helped educate her friends and neighbors on the issue.

“Recently, my neighbor got sick,” Laura said. “She and her children had a severe case of diarrhea because of poor sanitation. I talked to her and her husband about the need for proper sanitation, and as we speak they are putting up a latrine. She is not part of the Unbound family, but the sanitation initiative is for the whole community.”

By sponsoring a child you may be giving the most basic tools to ensure health and human dignity. And, through donations to Unbound’s Health programs, you can help address sanitation on a wider scale.

Support Health through Unbound.

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