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Case Study—hygiene awareness for women’s groups

One of the strengths of our programme for Water and Sanitation for Health (WASH) has been the hygiene awareness training offered to women’s groups. Mothers are at the centre of the family and training for the mothers cascades down through the whole family.
Rural people who cannot read and don’t watch television may never have heard about the importance of hygiene and cleanliness. Drinking clean water, washing hands and using a toilet instead of the stream may seem common sense to most westerners, but it is not so long ago that westerners suffered the ravages of poor sanitation and hygiene. Women in Nepal are often responsible for collecting animal dung and spreading on the fields and they are also responsible for cooking, so offering hygiene awareness training to women seemed a good place to start.

‘We learnt how to keep ourselves clean, how to keep the toilet clean, to cover food to keep flies away and how to keep the environment clean. We now have baskets around the village for people to put their litter in’ reported one group spokes-woman.
‘It has given us more self dignity and pride in ourselves’ said another group leader.
‘Even the children wash their hands properly now’.