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Somalia, August 2015: A new latrine is the pride and joy of Somali families

© UNICEF Somalia/2015/Eshuchi
Amina (right) in front of her new latrine which she built with her husband.

August 2015, GABILEY, Somaliland – Aydan Hassan and his wife are extremely proud of the new addition to their compound in Geed Abeera village in Gabiley District, Somaliland. They have built a new toilet alongside their three houses, kitchen, and pens of goats.

Aydan, his wife and child and nine other members of the extended family used to share one structure in the neighbouring compound built with the assistance of an NGO in 2013.

However in April 2015 a local NGO SOLRNADO visited the village and carried out a process known as triggering. This was a sensitization process that involves stimulating a collective sense of disgust and shame among community members as they confronted the facts about mass open defecation and its negative impacts on the entire community.

After attending the triggering process, Aydan and his wife constructed their own latrine in a week.

Aydan is proud that he built his own latrine rather than relying on an NGO. Privacy and pride were the key motivators.

“Mine may not look as good as that one but I am proud to have my own. I will work hard to make sure in a few years, I have one made of stone,” he said.

Aydan’s toilet has a structure made plastic and old material which cost him US $15 to complete. However there were challenges such as a snake which appeared in the pit they were digging which was eventually killed with the help of neighbours.

Another couple in the village – Amina and her husband Hassan Abdi who have eight children completed their structure two months ago. Amina sounds excited and animated as she explains to us why they prefer a toilet.

“This is the second latrine we constructed. The first one collapsed during the heavy rains and we quickly embarked on constructing this new one. We prefer using a toilet as there is no bush nearby to go to. There is nowhere to hide.” she explains.

Now she wouldn’t dream of defecating in the open.

“No way! We are now used to the privacy and I don’t think I will feel safe in the bush. As a family we want to show a good example to the rest of the community.”

The couple estimate the current structure cost US $40 and it will cost them about US $250 to build a stone structure.

 

 

 

 

 
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