Kenya-based video journalist Ruud Elmendorp recently produced this short trailer (on behalf of Waste.NL) on a young woman that refuses to marry her boyfriend – until his family builds a proper toilet:
The story is about a boy who is in love with the daughter of a school teacher. Much to the dismay of his father, she refuses because she finds their toilet unusable and refused to have to go to the bush for defecation.
The women’s group has filed a number of complaints due to poor sanitation and present this to the village chief, incidentally the uncle of the boy. He is quite amazed by this and decides to call the government sanitation adviser.
After an animated session with the villagers and the chief, many decide to go for suitable toilets. The film ends happily with the girl accepting the marriage proposal as the sanitation issues have been solved.
Rob of i360/Current TV recently informed me of this documentary by Vanguard correspondent Adam Yamaguchi who traveled to India, Singapore and Indonesia to understand why people don’t use toilets and what’s being done to end the practice of open defecation:
“An estimated 2.6 billion people, about 40% of the world’s population, have no access to toilets and defecate anywhere they can. As a result, more than 2 million people — including 1.5 million children — die from complications of chronic diarrhea.
When human waste isn’t contained or flushed down the toilet, it’s everywhere — in streets, open fields and, most dangerously, in the very water people drink. Adam investigates how countries are trying to solve an epidemic that few people want to talk about — the world’s toilet crisis.”
This documentary was aired on CurrentTV in September 2010 and has since generated quite a few interesting comments. Also includes footage on the work of the World Toilet Organization (WTO) via Jack Sim, as well as a light introduction to Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS).
The good part about running a blog instead of being a journalist is that you can write about stuff you really like and also insert your own opinion as well as asking your readers for their comments. This obviously happens outside the conventional (dev aid) world with its often streamlined, corporate communication policies which sometimes avoid mentioning open issues like the following initiative which I read about today in the recommendable EcoSanRes mailing list.
If you’re interested in sustainable sanitation issues, make sure not to miss out this valuable exchange on first hand experiences with participants from all over the world. Yes, it’s just an old-fashioned mailing list that will sometimes clog up your inbox, but it’s the tool people use to communicate (hello 2010, hello RSS feeds, hello blogs, hello Facebook, hello Twitter, hello LinkedIn/Xing…). Continue reading “Who Gives A Crap”
“From our work on malaria education in the village of Mpungwe and Muyogoro Primary School, we have noted that the current level of hygiene constitutes a significant danger to public health. We are providing adequate sanitation facilities for children through ecosan toilet construction at their primary schools after seeing that the existing ones can be a danger to the children health and the environment. (…) On Monday, December 17 2007, the construction started at Muyogoro primary school, located in Huye District, Nyakagezi subsector. This construction has been realised in partnership between RVCP, 2 International Participants and BVDA.”
The Rwanda Village Concept Project is an international student-run project in Central Africa. This multidisciplinary development project was initiated in 1998 whereas the fieldwork started in 2002. Its aims are to improve the living standards in a Rwandan community by using simple and low cost methods and to develop the capabilties of students in participatory development work.
Dominik of pong.li was invited to cover the construction process with his camera and created these wonderful videos (full playlist on YouTube):
“People in this area just came together to build that public infrastructure…”
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