Last push for ODF through “Hello Toilet” radio program in Nepal

SNV | Gabrielle Halcrow from SNV Nepal, on 18/11/2016 18:31 AEST

The sanitation movement in Salyan District had started stagnating after its rapid progress and increase in sanitation coverage from 50% to 80% during 2015. The last mile was proving hard to reach as the remaining households were not moved by the “triggering” initiatives and some families were still expecting subsidies to construct toilets.  The district was now the only district out of five that had not achieved Open-Defecation-Free (ODF) status in the Rapti zone of the Mid-Western Development Region in Nepal.

In search of solutions, an SNV Advisor together with PASS Nepal, approached the Water Supply and Sanitation Divisional Office to find other means of providing a last push towards ODF.  In a meeting with representatives from FM radio stations, the idea of the “Hello Charpi” (Hello Toilet) call-in radio programme was born.  To prepare, PASS Nepal first collected the contact details of all households in the district who did not have a toilet.

The programme host dialled the number of the household head and created an engaging environment for discussion which eventually led to the question of why the family did not build a toilet when most of the neighbours had a toilet for the betterment of health and pride of the community.  The host also provided information about affordable toilet options and their availability in the market.  The conversation ended with a commitment aired to the public that the family would construct a toilet within a few weeks.  After the interview, PASS Nepal field staff visited the households frequently to follow-up on the commitment.

“Hello Charpi” was aired three times a week for 45 minutes with three to four interviews in each session. A total of 240 households participated.  As a result of the interviews and motivation to listeners, 1200 additional households from 8 VDCs (Village Development Committees) built latrines in a four-month period. The people of Salyan are now proud to be living in an ODF District.