“I am glad to be able to help my community gain access to clean toilets. Some people still show great gratitude when we meet.”
Do Thi Nuong, Vietnam Women’s Union volunteer.
Poor sanitation was the norm in the Cam Chong community, as many families did not have basic latrines. Rainwater carries garbage and human waste downhill, polluting the groundwater and causing foul smells and floods. Women are especially burdened, as they often have to clean up after the rains.
Concerned resident and Vietnam Women’s Union volunteer, Do Thi Nuong, decided to tap into East Meets West’s expertise. While EMW helped villagers to afford hygienic latrines through cash reimbursements, Do Thi Nuong and other volunteers connected them to private sector latrine builders.
Do Thi Nuong also led discussions on proper hygiene practices, using her knowedge of their livelihooods and needs to encourage better household sanitation. For example, she visited families who had recently sold crops or livestock because they were more likely to build a toilet for their homes.
Do Thi Nuong used her knowledge of the local economy and common practices to spark an enormous surge of latrine construction. The money injected into WASH is only part of the story. Women like Do Thi Nuong are the reason these programs are successful.
Today, over 90% of Cam Chong’s households have toilets with septic tanks, well above the national coverage rates of many countries outside Vietnam. Do Thi Nuong proudly shares, “I am glad to be able to help my community gain access to clean toilets. Some people still show great gratitude when we meet.”