Mr Hussain - A Sanitation Marketer with a mission

Plan International | John Kelleher from Plan International, on 16/11/2016 15:03 AEST

The eighth of August, 2016 marked an important day for the community of the Chak village, in Layyah District, Punjab Province, Pakistan. This is the date the community was officially certified Open Defecation Free (ODF) – meaning that everyone in the village has, and uses, a toilet at their household. Mr Hussain recalls: “Our community had been conditioned to defecate in open surroundings. There was no safe disposal for human excretion. As a result, the village was unclean with prevalence of the pungent smell of human excreta around our streets, as well homes.” Now, he says “I am very satisfied with the continuous improvement with regard to this sanitation initiative. People have started constructing latrines in their houses which is greatly enhancing the quality of life.”

Mr Hussain has played an important role in this success. As well as running a small hardware store in Chak he now also runs a successful Sanitation Mart selling components for household latrines for as low as PKR 3,250 (US$ 32). This Sanitation Mart was established as part of the ‘Scaling up Pakistan Approach to Total Sanitation in Punjab’ project implemented by Plan International Pakistan in collaboration with the Public Health Engineering Department of the Government of Punjab. As part of the project, and to address the lack of easily available and affordable latrine products a number of existing entrepreneurs, such as Mr Hussain, have been trained in low cost latrine production and assisted to establish Sanitation Marts through a PKR 10,000/- (US$ 100) grant to match their own PKR 150,000/- (US$ 1500) investment in their new business. Now Mr Hussain is not only selling latrines but has also established a good supply chain for his business: “I have sold approximately 150 sets of low cost latrines and established good business relationship with entrepreneurs and local brick suppliers. I reached an agreement with a brick supplier to sell me bricks at a subsidized rate PKR 2800/- (US$28) per thousand bricks for marginalized members of community.”