Toilets change Kengkhar
Ap Dorji is well into his sixties and recalls the days when his people would use footpaths and the space around their homes as a defecation site.
Today, he says the ways of the world are coming to Khenkar. He has now a new toilet with a facility to flush water and tape water to take showers.
Ab Dorji has been very creative and has built a rainwater storage facility to ensure his family’s hygiene.
Ap Dorji is a beneficiary of the Joint Support Programme implemented by the Department of Local Governance with support from DANIDA and the Poverty-Environment Initiative.
Khenkhar is one of the remotest and poorest villages of Mongar Dzonghkag.
In 2012, the Joint Support Programme carried out trainings on sustainable development and provided local officials with tools to identify causes of environmental degradation, poverty or climate change and design adequate solutions.
As a follow up to the training, Khenkhar received a grant from the Joint Support Programme, better known as the “Capacity Development Grant” to fund sustainable interventions. After discussions in the gewog assembly, the community decided to prioritize the construction of toilets.
The grant was used to buy materials and villagers received trainings on how to construct toilets that allowed them to build their own. Some, like Ab Dorji, were surprisingly creative.
Karma Dorji, the village headman, actively oversees the construction of toilets in his community.
The villagers receive regular visits by the Health Assistant posted in Khenkhar who educates them on personal hygiene, practical toilet practices and how to avoid diseases through basic health care.
Khenkhar has a little over 400 households and has installed 380 toilets. Thanks to the “Capacity Development Grant”, it is now well on track on ensuring that every family has a proper toilet and decent way of life.
Today, several villages in Bhutan are part of the Joint Support Programme initiative to train local governments on sustainable development and to provide them with grants to complement their scarce financial resources to meet community level needs.
Directed by Marta Baraibar.