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Young boy washing hands

Building latrines and education:

Saving the life of a community

It all started with Bakari, a mosque leader in Itiso, a community in Tanzania. He promised to upgrade his mosque’s latrine, a positive example for a community where open defecation was common. With the support of Plan International Canada and the Global Sanitation Fund, Bakari promoted a program for community-led total sanitation (CLTS). His support, along with that of other leaders, led to more latrines constructed and greater education about sanitation and hygiene – and more lives being saved. Each year, approximately 26,000 Tanzanians, including 18,000 children, die from diarrhea, nearly 90 percent of which is caused by poor sanitation and hygiene. As a result of the CLTS program, more than 53,000 people have access to improved sanitation facilities, along with the education to use and maintain them. Bakari’s contributions resulted in 900 new latrines being built and in sanitation-and-hygiene education initiatives for those who needed support. It’s promises like his that save children’s lives.