13 February 2024

How Moneca’s Entrepreneurial Dream Uplifts 12-year-old Dhighi’s Life

NAOGAON, Bangladesh - “Papa, hurry up!” Dhighi turns around to call her dad, Md. Mazed Ali Mondol, as they walk to Mst. Moneca Begum’s UNICEF-supported latrine business. It is the only latrine business in the village.  The 12-year-old’s footsteps quicken and her eyes spark as she sees Moneca. Even though usually quiet, Dhighi can’t contain her…, Dhighi doesn’t feel safe, For months, Dhighi has observed the sanitation business shop, where Moneca and her husband, Md. Hatim lay out neat rows of self-made pit latrines 1  in various styles and colors. The shop is next to the village’s main road - one adorned with towering white bark trees and children’s giggles.­­­ Walking by it every day, Dhighi knows that other…, A woman entrepreneur who changes her village, Moneca dusts off the self-made concrete rings in her shop. Concrete rings are embedded in the soil to store human waste. Moneca dusts off the self-made concrete rings in her shop. Concrete rings are embedded in the soil to store human waste. At 40 years old, Moneca is well known in Dhighi’s village as a female entrepreneur who makes a life for…, Moneca beams with pride as she talks about her shop., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Himu Dhighi and her cousin, Khadija (left), all know Moneca who just lives within walking distance from them. SanMarkSystems-06.JPG, Dhighi and her cousin, Khadija (left), all know Moneca who just lives within walking distance from them., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Himu Moneca beams with pride as she talks about her shop. Dhighi and her cousin, Khadija (left), all know Moneca who just lives within walking distance from them. “People can say many things because I am a woman who runs a business. But my business has done good for many people,” adds Moneca proudly. “Even if I no longer…, My dream is to become a doctor, Dhighi shows Mazed the latrine of her choice at Moneca’s shop. Dhighi shows Mazed the latrine of her choice at Moneca’s shop. Holding her father’s hand, Dhighi closely examines each pit latrine. Sometimes, she even takes off her brown slippers and carefully walks on each latrine’s surface. Finally, she chooses a white-tiled one with a pink floral…
05 April 2022

A toilet to be proud of

Whenever Eti woke up in the night needing the toilet, she tried to ignore her discomfort and hold on until morning. As soon as it was light in her village in Khulna’s Satkhira District in Bangladesh, Eti asked her mother to accompany her to the pit latrine some distance from their house. The only time the 16-year-old felt safe relieving herself…, Missing school due to diarrhoea and dysentery, Bangladesh has significantly improved access to sanitation and almost completely eliminated open air defecation. But poor-quality toilets continue to pose a threat to the health of millions of Bangladeshi children. In rural areas such as Eti’s, only one third of households dispose of child faeces safely. Many latrines are shared, broken or of poor…, Safer sanitation for everyone, no matter their income, For a long time, Eti’s father had been troubled by the poor sanitation situation for his family. He could see how it was making his wife and children sick. But Ziarul wondered how he could ever afford a better latrine for the family when all he earned was 200 taka (roughly $2.30) a day as daily wage labourer. While scouting for work one day,…, Investing in latrines means investing in health, As of December 2021, over 375,000 people purchased and gained access to improved toilets in Bangladesh, while 1,300 latrine entrepreneurs received training on improved latrines as part of the sanitation markets systems programme. “Clean, functioning toilets are essential for children’s health and well-being. Good sanitation means children can stay…
20 December 2020

Breaking down barriers: UNICEF volunteers lead sanitation survey across Bangladesh

Humayra Rezyona is not your typical 23-year-old. When asked to conduct a survey on sanitation in Dhaka city, she jumped at the chance. “I am a very curious person. I wanted to learn about the conditions in my country. If I stay at home, I won’t understand anything,” enthused Humayra.   Over 700 children die every day from diarrhoea caused by…, Breaking taboos, “Sanitation is a taboo subject in Bangladesh. I certainly got some funny reactions when I told people I wanted to survey their sanitation system and talk about their pees and poops!” laughed Humayra. Before conducting the survey, Humayra and 61 other UNICEF volunteers completed a three-day training with the Department of Public Health Engineering…, Building the evidence base for safer sanitation, Despite the challenges of conducting a survey on a sensitive topic, Humayra and her peers are convinced this is important work that can help their communities in the future. “I learned that not one household I surveyed had access to a septic tank. Generally people connect their drain pipes to the nearby river which is heavily polluted, the water…, Volunteers shine in their communities, Humayra is one of 33,000 UNICEF volunteers registered to support campaigns which benefit millions of children across Bangladesh. Volunteers can now add ‘survey enumerator’ to their diversified skillset, while making a difference in their communities. “It was a great experience for me. I gained practical knowledge and it made me confident. I…