Inclusive WASH Committees - Many Impacts

Australian Red Cross (ARC) | Katherine Bunbury from Australian Red Cross (ARC) Bangladesh, on 15/03/2017 13:28 AEST

Golap lives in Najirdigar community in Bangladesh. He contracted Polio as an infant, which unfortunately left his legs paralysed and his family struggled to cope with his disability and their social and financial status within the community. Like many in their community, Gopal’s family also suffered ill health as a result of poor sanitation and hygiene.

“My family had a long history of chronic diarrheal diseases and we had to spend a lot for treatment. But as the Bangladesh Red Crescent started their project, we came to know different knowledge on good WASH behaviours. By practising hand washing, using improved toilet as well as drinking safe water, my family do not face water and fecal borne diseases anymore.”

Through the Civil Society WASH project, Golap is working hard to bring about changes in his community - as a proud WASH committee member. As one of 16 members (including 8 males and 8 females) he has received training, attends workshops and meetings, monitors activity implementation, gives his feedback on addressing issues for people living with disabilities, and encourages and motivates others to maintain good WASH practices. Through his active role as an important change agent in his community, Golap feels himself an empowered person now, and faces less social and financial challenges than before.

Golap’s family, along with 501 other families in Najirdigar, are now enjoying relatively good health. Chronic diarrheal diseases have reduced dramatically and according to Golap the “community has changed beyond its imagination. We are improving ourselves and I believe we are creating a better environment, both for us and for our future generations.”

Postcard information kindly collected by IFRC Bangladesh