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Asibi Ayuba, the Secretary of the Women's cooperative group in Pambawa, vividly recalls the deplorable state they once endured as individuals and as a community. Open defecation plagued their lives, affecting both adults and children.

Even when children attended school, they had no alternative but to venture into the bushes to relieve themselves. The consequences were dire, as Asibi describes, "In the past, we faced serious problems.
Children would excrete all over the place, attracting flies that contaminated our food and water. Cholera outbreaks were rampant during that time."

Recognizing the urgency of this social problem, Hope for the Village Child Foundation and ActionAid Nigeria (HVCF/AAN) launched a transformative initiative to address the issue of open defecation in Pambawa. A key component of their intervention was the installation of Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) toilets in schools, serving as a model for the entire community.

The impact of these new toilets was profound and far-reaching. Asibi shares the positive transformation that followed, "When they introduced these toilets, everyone began to adopt them, and people now have convenient places to relieve themselves. The outbreak of cholera is no longer a concern." Through the Visionary WASH project implemented by HVCF/AAN, the community witnessed a significant reduction in the problem of open defecation.

The benefits of this transformation extend beyond the eradication of open defecation. By improving sanitation practices, the risk of diseases like cholera has diminished, ensuring a healthier community overall. As the community adopted the modeled approach of the WASH project, they demonstrated a collective commitment to the well-being and hygiene of their children, fostering a culture of cleanliness and good health. HVCF/AAN's intervention has not only provided a practical solution to a pressing problem but has also empowered the community to take ownership of their health and well-being.

Asibi Ayuba and the members of the Women's Cooperative group in Pambawa are filled with gratitude for the life-changing impact of the HVCF/AAN partnership.

Yammalo Ayuba, a 15-year-old student of Government Girls Secondary School in Pambawa and Asibi's daughter, expresses her happiness and relief at the changes that have taken place. She no longer has to venture into the bushes to relieve herself; her school now has a nearby toilet to serve her and her friends.

Yammalo reflects, "If a defecation system hadn't been implemented, there could have been fatalities." As a Junior Secondary School Student, she is grateful for the improved facilities that have enhanced the safety, health, and dignity of students like her.

Asibi and daughter
ActionAid Nigeria