Hygiene is a critical component to effective, sustainable WASH. If water is clean at the source and toilets exist in the community, their effectiveness only goes so far if community members do not practice effective hygiene behaviours to ensure that water stays clean until it is consumed, that all human faeces are hygienically disposed, and that personal hygiene is practiced to safeguard individual and community health.
World Vision actively engages with community members to promote good hygiene behaviours. Together with the community, we work to educate people on good hygiene and promote long lasting healthy habits. One of the key approaches we use is called Designing for Behaviour Change, to identify what either prevents or enables positive hygiene behaviours, and then designing activities to address those issues. Hygiene encompasses a variety of areas, from handwashing and keeping toilets clean at home, school and health care facilities; to menstrual hygiene management – a key issue that particularly affects the ability of girls to stay in school.
- 1.7 billion people lack access to at least a basic sanitation service, such as toilets and improved latrines. Of these, 494 million people defecate in the open.
- For every $1 invested in basic sanitation up to $5 is returned in saved medical costs and increased productivity.
- Every day, over 700 children under five years old die from diarrhoea linked to unsafe water, sanitation and poor hygiene. Diarrhoea is the second leading cause of death in children under age 5 years ago.
- Without safe and private toilets, women and girls are at risk of harassment and violence. Without toilets at schools, girls cannot manage their menstruation effectively and often miss school
- Women who give birth in unsanitary conditions are at a threefold increased risk of maternal mortality in both home and facility births.
Imagine you were the reason a girl could stay in school and get a complete education, simply because she had a useable toilet.
Long-time World Vision volunteer Lerma Granadil, 40, aims to make her village a place where each household has a proper toilet.