December 31, 2015

Earthquake survivors enjoy the benefits of water and sanitation

Earthquake survivors enjoy the benefits of water and sanitation
Thomas Bogaty, WVI Nepal Communications Coordinator

Earthquake survivors of Nepal were hit hard by inaccessibility of water, sanitation and hygiene after April 25 earthquake, especially those who live in the outer skirts of Kathmandu Valley and other rural districts.  Sipadole of Bhaktapur was one such village devastated by the earthquake that flattened the toilets and dried up the waters sources. The water supply pipelines and water tanks were badly damaged, worsening the health conditions of people living in the area.

Arun, 16 an earthquake survivor of Sipadole says, "We were having tough time with health and hygiene until we received hygiene kits. The entire village received helpful hygiene kits comprising of toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, towel, water buckets, jugs and water cleansing agents. These hygiene kits were necessary as we had our basic necessities such as these buried under the debris of our collapsed mud-stone houses,"

He also took part in a hand-washing training and adds " I feel this training was important for children and I  also learnt the importance of washing hands before meals and after going to the toilet," he said.  Moreover, Arun is happy that his sister, Roma, 22, was also receiving sanitary pads because girls and women usually become more prone to health problems post disaster.

The devastating earthquake ravaged the top floor of his family house, including the toilet.  For many days after the disaster, Arun's family was using their neighbour's toilet to avoid open defecation. Now Arun's family has constructed their own toilet.  Still a student, Arun used his spare time to provide assistance in constructing the toilet by carrying bricks and supplying water. "We did not have enough labour to construct the toilet, so I helped my parents carrying some bricks and carrying water to make cement mixtures," he shares.  Arun feels confident that the newly constructed toilet will help him and his family members meet sanitation needs in their day to day  life. Not only Arun but his entire community has benefitted from World Vision's support with hygiene kits and household toilets.

Not far from his house, water tanks were cracked and the earthquake had unfortunately caused some of the water sources and rivers in the area to dry up.  "We were really worried about dried water sources, but after the monsoon water sources have been revived," he further added. But with the support of World Vision the water tanks were  repaired for safe water supply and today he and his community are enjoying the benefits of running water.         

    To ensure the water, sanitation and hygiene needs of earthquake survivors in affected districts, by the end of 2015, World Vision distributed 12,500 hygiene kits, 12,663 buckets, 21,896 jerry cans, 8,682,993 aqua tabs, 1,663 water purifying bags.Additionally 89 water systems have been renovated allowing more than 3,918 household to acess potable drinking water and 2828 household toilets have been constructed in nine affected districts including the Kathmandu valley.


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