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Improved sanitation = vastly improved health

Before Plan began working with the people of Hoang Su Phi, there were no community-wide systems in place for managing waste – a situation that is not unusual for poor rural villages in developing countries.

The few run-down latrines that did exist got little use, and there was no organized garbage removal. And both contributed significantly to the spread of infectious disease and high mortality rates among young children.

But thanks to your support of Community Sponsorship, and the hard work of community members, this has changed considerably in a relatively short period of time.

Because of your investment, the community now has:

  • Eleven high-quality latrine blocks at schools and community spaces
  • Four incinerators and a community-run garbage collection service
  • An increasing number of household latrines constructed by families themselves
  • An initiative that has, to date, helped over 60 families construct compost pits that are also helping to improve local soil and agricultural outputs!
A man observes a newly constructed garbage incinerator in Vietnam

Newly constructed garbage incinerator

Beyond the construction of these vital community assets, community engagement, education and mobilization have also been a critical part of this initiative. That’s because effective sanitation requires more than just infrastructure; it requires widespread social change, including the use of latrines once they’re built, the adoption of hand washing, as well as active garbage collection and disposal, all of which are new practices here.

“A lot of changes have happened,” says Vang, a local father, “and not just in terms of what we’ve built. The most significant change is in the actions of community members.”

Homemade compost pit being assembled by two people

A family constructs their own compost pit

And that, in turn, not only produces better sanitation, hygiene and health (not to mention a cleaner, nicer environment) but a stronger community with a better sense of what’s possible when everyone works together toward a common goal.

A woman and child wash their hands under a tap

Washing hands at the new water tank

Take a moment to meet the Hoang family to hear their exciting news.


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