Bajhang district is a Himalayan district of far western region of Nepal. Human development index of this district is lower in comparison to other districts. In the past WASH behavior status was lower in rank because of poverty, illiteracy, taboos and culture. Annually many people of Rayal Village Development Committee (VDC) of Bajhang were affected by diarrhea, dysentery, typhoid and many other water borne diseases. Due to lack of healthy behavior, availability of safe drinking water and careless on disposing rubbish, people were compelled to death. Now, improvement of drinking water and sanitation condition of Rayal VDC is helping to reduce acute dehydration patients in the community and adjoining VDCs from the past three years.
Unlike past faulty hygienic practices, there is a tangible change in improved hygienic behavior of the community. All credit of this status goes to the relentless determination of health workers, female health volunteers, teachers, intellectuals and Village Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Coordination Committee (VWASHCC). In addition, all sectors of the community become actively participatory after the launch of water sanitation and hygiene managenent project in Rayal VDC by Bhajang District Chapter of Nepal Red Cross Society.
Project has coordinated with VWASHCC and Rayal Primary Health Center (PHC) and formed ward water and sanitation committee while conducting WASH activities of project, and also appointing ward motivators at each ward for wash activities in the community.
These activities accelerate the announcement of pre total sanitized status in Rayal VDC. Every nook and corner of the community well informed about WASH information. Because of monthly door to door individual household visit there is gradual change in personal, homely and environmental hygiene condition. This hygienic condition helps to reduce waterborne diseases in the community gradually. Especially decreases in diarrhea case as shown by statistics of intravenous (IV) fluid and oral rehydration solution (ORS) medicine consumption status in Rayal primary health center. Now, the money which was used to buy medicine of waterborne diseases is used for other income generating activities and other purposes.
Although Bhajang is the 31th open defecation free (ODF) district of Nepal, still it is necessary to continue WASH promotional activities. Still there is a need of proper planning, discussion and community participation to change the traditional WASH behavior which helps to develop ownership feeling of 'our health is in our hand. Change in behavior helps towards total sanitation.
Lastly, we are thankful and grateful to all those personnel, institutions and organizations who played vital role to improve the WASH condition of Raral VDC and expecting the continuation of WASH activities and facilitation in the near future.
Senior Health Assistant
Rayal Primary Health center