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Monday, 18 November 2013

Aid DOES make a difference

Why not mark World Toilet Day, 19 November, by twinning a toilet you use - maybe in your office, or somewhere you visit like a cinema or cafe? It’s a great way to get the Toilet Twinning message out so that more people can help flush away poverty.

These stories from Ethiopia and Uganda spell out the benefits of having a clean, decent and accessible loo - something that 2.5 billion people worldwide are still without.

‘Before we had a toilet, we were not interested in working in the fields, because the smell was pungent and the field was full of excrement,’ says Amanuel from Ethiopia.
Amanuel and his wife Meselech with their two daughters and their latrine [photo: Richard Hanson/Toilet Twinning]
Now he and his wife Meselech cultivate cabbage, potato, tomato, carrots, beetroot and false banana to feed their family. What’s more, their two daughters have never suffered from diarrhoea.  

The reason? Toilet Twinning funded Ethiopia’s Kale Heywet Church to show the couple how to build a latrine using local materials. They also gave them training and advice on keeping their bodies, house and compound healthy and hygienic, stressing the importance of using soap and clean water.  

‘After the toilet was built, our environment became clean and we wanted to work.’ says Amanuel, adding ‘Now, we are in the field and get fresh air. We are much healthier. My compound is clean. It makes me want to be productive.’

William and Annette Nkwansibwe from Uganda also have a new latrine, which they built themselves, using materials found around their property and sticks they could buy locally.
William and Annette Nkwansibwe [photo Vernon Kingsley/Toilet Twinning]
But the real difference in their lives now is that they also have the knowledge to go with the latrine: they know they need to keep their latrine enclosed and to wash their hands. They also know they need to keep their cleaning and drinking water separate.

Now they rarely get sick.

This gift of knowledge, this fresh confidence, came through Toilet Twinning’s Ugandan partner the Diocese of Kigezi, which has been running its water and sanitation programme in Kabale district for more than 35 years.

Through Toilet Twinning funding, the Diocese of Kigezi were also able to teach Ugandan mother Vivien Birunga to build a latrine.  They added in hygiene and handwashing education too. 'I don't need to borrow money to pay for medicine since having my latrine and learning about hygiene,' she says. A little bit of knowledge has saved Vivien an awful lot of money. More than that, it’s given her dignity and hope.

Thank you for supporting Toilet Twinning.
World Toilet Day, 19 November

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