Masud’s Spirit of Change

Australian Red Cross (ARC) | Jenni Lillingston from Australian Red Cross (ARC) Bangladesh, on 11/10/2017 19:22 AEST

I can now dream for a better future, together with my community. The qualities BRCS has raised in me about good WASH practices, give me feeling of being like a torchbearer.”

Masud Rana is a WASH champion in the Paddmapurkur village, Bangladesh. Two years ago many people in his village had no knowledge about sanitation and hygiene issues, and suffered chronic diseases like diarrhoea, typhoid, stomach pain, and dysentery.

Fortunately Masud’s family had already adopted high levels of cleanliness and hygiene with a sanitary latrine, a deep tube well (pulling less iron-mixed water) and an ‘Iron Removal Filter’ however, “other villagers were not enjoying these facilities as they lacked information or money,” said Masud.

When the Community Development Initiative (CDI) 2 WASH project was developed by the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BRCS), funded by CS-WASH, Masud joined the Community Disaster Response Team and received training in hygiene and sanitation transformation.

Through CDI-2 WASH the majority of villagers are now washing their hands after defecation, before and after taking meals, before preparing food and after cleaning baby’s stool. Members of the community have recognizing the importance of a healthy and hygienic society and many have built fully funded sanitary latrines and deep tube-wells.

Masud wants to continue helping others in his community improve their hygiene.  “Previously, our village had a negative reputation due to the odor and lack of hygiene from open defecation, but the changes over the last two years are significant. Every house is neat and clean, people have soap, slippers and buckets full of water in their latrines, and everybody tries to follow hygiene rules in their everyday life,” said Masud.

Prepared by Mr Talha Tasnim, Mr Biplob Kanti Mondal and Ms Jenni Lillingston