The Nepal earthquake almost three years ago left thousands living in temporary shelter. Community rehabilitation is a continual process, which carries on long after global media attention has faded away.
CarNet Nepal (Viva’s Partner Network in Nepal) has been working on a central tenant of rehabilitation and ongoing community health effort: training in hygiene care.
Many villages CarNet Nepal operate in have no road access in the monsoon season. As rural, agricultural-based communities, the earthquake destroyed their houses, latrines and damaged the water systems.
Urmila (28) and Druhi (14), have told us of their own stories of life from different rural villages in Nepal. They demonstrate how individuals adopting hygiene care after training cause a transforming ripple effect; altering the health and protection not only of themselves, but of their family and the whole community.
Along with 84 others, Urmila Tamang (28), a mother of two small children and living with her husband, received hygiene training from the CarNet Nepal programme.
She testified about the impact of the quake:
“We had been living a normal life, but after the earthquake, our life was shattered. Our house, animal shed and latrine were destroyed. The animals were killed. We were forced to live in temporary shelter. As a result of the damaged community water supply we were drinking impure water as well.”
Druhi Rana (14), a Grade 5 student, told us that: “although we had learned in our course book at school about hygiene and sanitation in the past, we had never taken it seriously. I used to think that hygiene was brushing my teeth twice a day, washing my face, cleaning my hands before food and after going to the toilet, and taking a bath once a week.”
Last year CarNet Nepal partnered with Samaritan’s Purse Nepal to organise a one-day training event on ‘Hygiene and Sanitation’ with 45 students and on ‘Menstrual Hygiene Management’ for ten girls of Druhi’s school.
After the training she testified of its impact:
“I feel blessed to see the practical ways of how to use hygiene kits. Though I had sanitation kits in my house, I didn’t know how to use them properly. Now I realise hygiene is not only about oneself but also about the hygiene of others and the surrounding community.
“If we are concerned enough about hygiene, we are able to stop possible epidemics occurring and can create a health friendly community. I am committed to put into practice what I’ve learnt and to teach others to improve the prospects for our community.”