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Safe and Sustainable Sanitation for Women & Menstrual Hygiene

In some areas of the world, menstruation is considered as an impure and shameful act. Therefore girls are trying to hide that they are menstruating. Unfortunately, due to lack of safe facilities or supply of feminine hygiene products many young girls are forced to drop schools during their period. Each month they are deprived of their basic right, namely right to education.

| WECF Campaign


Countries: Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia
Donors: Natracare, private donors
Partners: Natracare, Katachel
Issues: Water & Sanitation
Duration: 09/2010 - 09/2020

Can you image that for almost seven days in a month you are stuck at home just because you have a period? In EU-member states approximately 20 million people suffer from lack of safe sanitation facilities. People for instance in Tajikistan, Romania or Bulgaria need to struggle for access to toilets. Very often inhabitants of rural areas use pit latrines which are far from schools or houses. Therefore due to adverse weather condition such as snow or storm, people are not able to reach toilets. In addition sanitation facilities are often disgustingly dirty, without water supply to wash hands or even with leaking ceilings. In many cases children often decided not to use pit latrines thus e.g. they limit daily intake of liquids or relieve themselves outside the village. This situation poses a threat not only to humans’ life but also to the environment. Often ground near pit latrines is polluted, in some cases it may also lead to water contamination.

WECF and Natracare want to make a difference through building new sanitation facilities and educating people in rural areas of Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia. In Tajikistan living conditions were improved through provision of new toilets. Nonmodern, unhygienic and one-roomed toilets were replaced by new ecosan separate toilets for girls and boys.  Ecosan is an example of dry urine-diverting toilet that enables to collect urine and feces for its further use as an agricultural fertilizer or compost. Blood as an organic material does not pose a threat to the sanitizing or composting process. Thus girls can use them during their period. Those toilets guarantee safety for girls who are often expose to sexual violence while using public toilets. Ecosan prevents ground or water from contamination, creating pollution free environment.  In Kunduz (Afghanistan) WECF together with its local partner the NGO “Katachel” provided families with new bathrooms. In addition, information concerning use of new toilets was provided through information sheets in local languages. That led to a significant improvement of women’s quality of life.

WECF main aim is to engage women to participate in local projects as women are often more interested in improving condition of sanitation facilities than men. However, women’s needs are often neglected due to societal barriers. Their safety and health is at risk. Therefore women should be included in decision-making process as their role in motivating and educating communities is crucial.   

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