With the Project:
Strengthening of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
The Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) has implemented the “Strengthening of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)” project in Samtse District of Bhutan. The project supports 1,095 rural households with water, sanitation and hygiene facilities to improve their quality of life. Furthermore, the project capacitates community-based organisations in the management of water and sanitation facilities and the promotion of hygiene.
Bhutan, a tiny Himalayan nation often referred to as the last Shangri-la is blessed with one of the highest per capita water availabilities in the region. However, with a growing population, rapid socio-economic development and rugged topography, the protection of water and watersheds as well as access to water resources by the rural communities in Bhutan has become a huge challenge. Water scarcity has for long become a huge problem in Samtse District, leading to poor sanitation and hygiene.
The WASH program was initiated in 2014 with the aim to 'improve the quality of life of rural populace by providing safe, convenient and sustainable water, sanitation services and better hygiene'. The project focuses on improving widespread access to clean drinking water, promoting standard sanitation facilities and hygiene practices for communities in the selected regions. The project team also conducted masonry and carpentry training in the construction of improved toilets to 47 interested local communities and they also constructed water supply systems through gravitational technology.
The project witnessed the implementation of two water supply schemes through submersible pump technology in selected villages. A local water user group was formed and a fund established through an equal contribution from the project and the beneficiary communities for the sustainable management of the water supply schemes. The project team also installed a rooftop rainwater harvesting system and a mass handwashing station at Yoeseltse middle secondary school in Samtse District as an alternative technology to trap water and promote handwashing practices respectively.
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