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New school latrines

Thanks to you, three schools in Hatibandha have new girls’ and boys’ latrines with pumped water for hand washing.

“I’ve never seen such beautiful latrines in my life!” exclaims Selim, a district Vice Chairman, expressing the local pride in the community-led project.

  • Children holding up signs that spell out Thanks CNO

     / Thank you from Hatibandha

  • Old latrine in poor condition

     / Unsanitary conditions of the old school latrines

  • Children assisting with construction work

     / Students help with the construction work

  • A girl smiles in front of a newly constructed latrine

     / The newly constructed latrines at one school

  • Two children stand in front of a structure that has handwashing graphic murals on walls

     / The walls display important hygiene messages for students

  • Two youths walking into the new school latrine

     / Separate facilities for boys, girls and children with disabilities

  • Two smiling girls inside the school latrine

     / A look inside

  • Two smiling girls outside in front of the new school latrine

     / Students happy about the improved conditions of their school latrines

  • Children holding up signs that spell out Thanks CNO

     / Thank you from Hatibandha

  • Old latrine in poor condition

     / Unsanitary conditions of the old school latrines

The outcome of hard work and collaboration, this project began with the local children who told us that existing toilets at their schools were in a terrible state, forcing them to ask at neighbour’s homes or use nearby fields – just one more barrier to attending school, especially for girls.

So we got a local project group together and trained them to carry things forward, from coordinating with the schools, to selecting a mason and assisting with construction, which they did to great effect.

“We are so delighted to use the new bathrooms,” says Ripa, an 11-year-old student. “One morning, after washing my face, I stood in front of the mirror and realized this clean, beautiful bathroom has made me look beautiful. I like coming to school now.”

New latrines and water for hand washing will also vastly improve sanitation, hygiene and student health. Beyond that, they are an evident symbol of pride and hope for the community about what they can do when they come together, and what’s possible looking ahead.

Once completed, an opening ceremony was held, followed by the first-ever Water, Sanitation and Hygiene fair at one of the schools. Both events drew crowds of people and got them talking and learning about what they can do individually, as families and as a community to improve sanitation and public health.

“I think we are very lucky that Plan is working in such a remote area,” says Selim. “I would like to give my heartiest thanks to them.”

Take a moment to meet Sabina and see the work that community members like her are doing to reduce the disaster risk in their community.


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