Mr. Laddu, a school principal in Nepal, has had a long list of concerns ever since the April 2015 earthquake devastated the country.
One of his school buildings was damaged and some of the toilets were reduced to complete rubble. The damage was so bad that the District Education Office deemed them no longer safe.
With the toilets gone, the children had no place to relieve themselves. This situation was a major concern for a school that had previously enjoyed its improved water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities. Before the earthquake, Mr. Laddu’s district had achieved Open Defecation Free status.
“I don’t want my children to have to defecate in the open again,” he said.
The principal is thankful that Plan International, a well-known supporting partner of the school, came back to help after the earthquake.
With funding from Plan, a Temporary Learning Center was constructed, through the joint efforts of the local community and RADO Nepal, a local partner.
Together, the organizations and the community have built a toilet block comprising a water tank for toilet flushing, as well as a hand washing station. The new toilet block consists of three rooms: one for boys, one for girls, and one for children with disabilities.
“This is even better than our old toilet, which only had two rooms and no hand washing facility,” said Mrs. Sharmila, one of the schoolteachers. “I hope that our new disability-friendly bathroom will encourage families that have children with physical challenges to send their children to school.”
Mr. Laddu’s list of concerns remains long. However, after seeing his students run happily to use the school toilet and wash their hands, he can now check off his concern of school water, sanitation, and hygiene.
The toilet is back and better than the old one.
To date, Plan International has built 168 water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities for temporary schools in earthquake-affected districts and launched hygiene promotion activities across 221 schools.