Household in far west Nepal creating a healthy home with support of European Union and UN-Habitat

Hari Krishna Chaudhari is leading towards creating healthy homes by formalising a slogan, “clean environment for healthy life”. Now, with the support of Strengthening Water, Air, Sanitation and Hygiene Treasuring Health( SWASHTHA) project that is being implemented in five communities of Tikapur Municipality in partnership with the Municipality, ENPHO, MuAN and Practical Action and financed by EU and UN-Habitat‘s Water for Asian Cities Programme. His family has stopped open defecation, drinks purified water and no smokier kitchen. Chaudhari family now has ecological sanitation (ECOSAN) toilet, silver colloidal (CS) filter and has installed improved cooked stove (ICS).

30 years old Chaudhari migrated in Jamuna Tole, ward 04 of Tikapur in 1995. Main profession of eight members Chaudhari family is agriculture. Chaudhari is also a teacher in a local school. Though he is an educated person and knew the importance of toilet, he was not building it. “Everybody in the community did not have toilet, thus I did not build too” Chaudhari explained when he was asked why he did not build toilet earlier. “But I have to face lots of embarrassment of not having toilet, especially when friends and guest arrived at home and ask for toilet”, He recalled his bitter experience. “I’ve to go far for defecation in order to hide from people and during rainy season and night time, it was too difficult” Raj Kumari Chaudhari, wife of Chaudhari expressed her also difficulties. He learnt about various types of toilet from orientations of SWASHTHA project. He was initially not convinced to build ECOSAN toilet. However, after participating in ECOSAN training and seeing such toilet during the exposure visit in Kathmandu, he made up his mind to build such environmentally friendly toilet. The project supported material subsidy of NRs. 3500 and he top up NRs. 8000 to build his wet ECOSAN.

With the support from the project, he has now CS filter which has dual function. Firstly, it filters turbidity and secondly it disinfects micro-organism. Chaudhari has built concrete platform that prevents water logging around the hand pump. The platform prevents direct seepage of contaminated water through pipe of hand pump. He has built a wooden rack to keep cooking utensils to dry cooking utensil after washing them. The surrounding environment is now cleaner. The family has also installed mud improved cooked stove (ICS). “My kitchen is now clean; previously it used to be full of noxious smoke”, Chaudhari is happy to have ICS in her kitchen. All family members practice hand-washing with soap- water in critical times (before eating, after toilet and after touching waste). Decomposable waste is converted into compost along with cow dung and being used in the farm. Further, the floor of cow shed has been improved with concrete floor that eases to clean the cow dung and there is a small gutter made in the cow shed to collect urine of cattle. The family uses urine in farm as a fertiliser.

In this way, a Chaudhari family is creating a model healthy home and influencing others to create healthy community as a whole. The house of Chaudhari family is an example of integrated approach to WASH (water, air, sanitation and hygiene).

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