Back to the status of “Open Defecation Free Zone”
Tauthali, 75 km from Kathmandu, is a community in Sindhupalchok, a district East of Kathmandu that was severely affected by the massive earthquakes of 25 April and 12 May, 2015. Ratna Bahadur Shrestha and his seven family-members are amongst the affected families residing in ward no 4 of Tauthali. Ratna Bahadur lost all his property, stored food and grains, cattle and clothes. Everything was buried in the debris after his house completely collapsed during the earthquake.
Ratna told to PHASE Nepal: “The earthquake has crippled our lives as our home collapsed. All our food, cattle, clothes and everything what was inside the house, got buried in the debris and nothing is of any use now. All this has directly affected our daily life, we were deprived of basic needs and life was hard and miserable. PHASE Nepal provided relief materials to the families in Tauthali. In the first weeks after the earthquake, we all received two bundles of CGI sheets – corrugated galvanized iron – along with some construction materials so we were able to build a small shelter. Tough it was just a small hut, this was very useful and helped us to cope with the rainy season that started a few months after our homes were all destroyed.”
He added: “PHASE Nepal continuously supported us and also provided help during the winter season. The distribution of blankets, extra construction tools, shawls and the solar light by PHASE has also helped us to get through the cold months in winter.”
Although families were grateful to receive this support, they also expressed their hope that PHASE would help them to rebuild toilets.
Ratna continues: “We found that there was no option besides using barren lands and forest for defecation purpose for most of the families here in Tauthali. Especially for children, women and elderly people it is very difficult to go out in the forest and we are scared that something bad will happen to them, especially when they have to go out in the night (to use the toilet). For people who have difficulty walking, it is very difficult to use the toilet as they have to walk further from the village. But even I am scared of snakes that can bite me or other wild animals that are waiting in the forest until I come out of the house. Heavy rains in the summer and uneven trails due to debris that are still lying around in the village of the collapsed houses, are making walking out to the forest or open field difficult and especially in the night, there are chances of slipping and falling off the hill when using open field for toilet. Besides this, we have learnt that open defecation is bad for health and will make people sick.”
Ratna was very pleased for the support provided by PHASE Nepal for the construction of household toilets in the village and also thanked PHASE Nepal for its initiative to help Tauthali to get back the status of “open defecation free village”.