open defecation

In the face of ridicule: one woman’s fight to bring sanitation to a Nepalese village

4.2 billion people are living without access to safely managed sanitation, putting them at increased risk of catching a host of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, cholera, and typhoid. On this year’s World Toilet Day, which is marked on 19 November, we look at how Ratna Khawas has fought ridicule and tradition to improve hygiene in her Nepalese village, with the help of the UN.

Nepal benefits from end to open toilet use

Sunaina lives in Majhi, a village of 104 people in Nepal’s impoverished Terai region. Huts fashioned of mud, thatch and straw stand in a row along the shoulder of a dirt road that carves through rice fields, where Sunaina, and the majority of her neighbours earn their living.