Twenty two years old Azra d/o Raneez Khan from Shiekhan village, UC Toru, District Mardan has been working voluntarily with IRSP as a hygiene promoter in project funded by EU for last one year. She attended hygiene promoters training and through her efforts she proved herself as one of the most active individuals in her community. She has studied till class 8 and now stays at home.

In start she was not permitted by her brothers to work with a non governmental organization but later on she convinced her family. She told that attitude of social organizers mobilized me and my family gradually,

The social mobilizers observe parda as we do in community , their friendly behavior, the way they talk and discuss hygiene and sanitation in sessions and training not just increased our knowledge but transform our misperceptions about NGOs .

Its true that before intervention we had improper knowledge about cleanliness, toilets doesn’t exist in our neighborhood, human and animal excreta, solid waste, stagnate water along with observance of unhygienic practices.

After attending training on hygiene promotion, she started conducting sessions in her village and in adjacent village as well where her maternal grandmother and married sister live, she also participated in CLTS, PRA and later on spread the message in her neighbourhood where there were no toilets before but now pit latrines have been constructed in all households, she not just mobilized people verbally but helped other females in construction who were unable to do so.

Women in the neighbourhood is sharing her experience of pit latrine construction

The under construction pit toilet in which empty plastic bottles have been used as ventilation pipe in order to minimize the cost

According to Azra,

“It is forward thinking approach to spread the hygiene and sanitation messages in women as in rural life girls and women have significant role in solid waste, animal and human excreta management and also they handle water related activities.”

Women can bring more sustainable change through improving their children’s hygiene behaviors as Azra’s 2 years old niece knows how to wash hands properly

Use of IEC material, she has pasted poster about hand washing method in their washroom and outside the house

The experiences with IRSP team enhanced her confidence and enabled her to work for different human friendly causes; she is now member of another social development organization also, Thanks for the knowledge and experience, I gained with you as it is helpful in my other community development activities.

She is showing her certificate of other organization’s training where her experience as a volunteer in IRSP-Water aid and EU project was appreciated.

IRSP staff member with Azra

Though solid waste dumps exist but contains just organic/animal excreta waste, which is not much harmful, in rural life such dumps are used for agricultural purposes. Harmful material is buried now.

Hygiene and sanitation condition is better than the previous one though the drain is not well constructed but better than presence of stagnate water. We can view this as the first step towards healthier society.