Tayaba Organisation

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Fear to Freedom:
Noor Bano's H2O Toilet Transition

Photo by Tayaba Organisation – All Rights Reserved

Night had fallen when Noor Bano’s daughter returned from the village fields. With trepidation in her voice, Noor Bano asked,

“Were you able to use the toilet?”

The answer that followed pierced her heart,

“No, Mother, I am scared.”

What could cause such fear? Picture this: a toilet consisting of cloth hung on two wooden dowels in a field already contaminated with waste. The idea of having no locks on the door disturbs you, right? Now, imagine the situation women like Noor Bano face in Dadu, where toilets lack doors, leaving them without privacy and safety.

Photo by Tayaba Organisation – All Rights Reserved

Noor Bano and the other women would hold back during their hard work in the fields. They waited until nighttime to walk long distances and find a secluded spot to use the bathroom. They faced insects, dogs, and uncomfortable encounters with strangers. Noor Bano’s voice was shaky as she whispered,

“I am afraid to let my daughter go alone. I worry that a man might bother or hurt her.”

Noor Bano understood the patriarchal structure that permeated her village, mirroring the wider society where women were forced to conceal their bodily functions. Open defecation had become the norm, depriving women and children of their basic needs. Despite the availability of resources, building latrines was never a priority for the men in her village. 

“They would spend money on smoking and TV, but latrines are not a priority,” Noor Bano sighed.

Photo by Tayaba Organisation – All Rights Reserved

In rural Pakistan, the absence of toilets and widespread open defecation have long been distressing challenges. These difficulties were further amplified by the devastating floods of 2022, leaving over 8 million people without access to proper sanitation facilities.

Noor Bano and her community resorted to limiting their water consumption and enduring hunger to avoid daytime visits to unsanitary facilities. She had resigned herself to this fate until one day, hope arrived in the form of the H2O (Help-2-Others) Team from the Tayaba Welfare International Association (TWIA).

Little did Noor Bano anticipate the imminent shift that would transform her life.

The H2O Portable Toilets, a project initiated by TWIA, aimed to address the urgent need for proper sanitation facilities in marginalized areas of Pakistan, particularly in the aftermath of the devastating floods. These innovative toilets, made from locally sourced and environmentally friendly materials such as bamboo sticks and bricks, provided sustainable and hygienic solutions. They incorporated a well-designed water closet system and a hygienic drainage system with PVC pipes, effectively preventing the contamination of nearby water sources.

In an impressive achievement, TWIA assembled and installed 100+ H2O Portable Toilets in Dadu within a few days, putting an end to the prevalent issue of open defecation. But what made this transformation even more impactful was the change in the mindset of the local men. Through awareness sessions organized by the H2O Team, they began understanding the dire consequences of denying women and children their basic right to secure and safe sanitation. Moved by this realization, the men actively participated in constructing the toilets, creating income-generating opportunities for themselves.

Photo by Tayaba Organisation – All Rights Reserved

Noor Bano’s face lit up with joy as she explained this profound change. 

“Most men around us did not seem to mind not having enclosed and separate toilets. Of course, because they enjoy the freedom to do it anywhere,” 

she chuckled. With a grateful smile, she continued,

“Now, seeing those same men working to build latrines for us is a beautiful sight. We feel safe.” 

The men who had once turned a blind eye to their needs now labored alongside them, driven by a newfound sense of solidarity.

The installation of H2O Portable Toilets brought happiness and empowerment to Noor Bano and her community. No longer bound by the cycle of withholding food and drinks to avoid the risks of open defecation, they could now use the toilets near their homes. These gender-segregated toilets ensured privacy and security with labeled compartments, proper locks, a safe water supply, and a cloth-covered bamboo structure. With a smile of relief, Noor Bano said,

“H2O Toilets are a real blessing for us! We no longer have to wait until it’s dark to go to the bathroom. These toilets near our homes have good locks and water supply, so we can do our business safely and comfortably.”

Photo by Tayaba Organisation – All Rights Reserved

This shows that something seemingly insignificant as the absence of proper toilets, can have a debilitating impact on individuals, undermining their sense of dignity, compromising their privacy, and posing significant health risks. The lack of safe and sanitation facilities limited their abilities, compromised their freedom, and jeopardized their well-being. 

Now, Noor Bano feels confident and reassured in sending her daughter to use toilets designed for women, guaranteeing their safety and security. The comprehensive waste management system of the H2O Toilets brings her immense satisfaction, knowing that her children’s health is improved and their future safeguarded.  She expresses her gratitude, saying, 

Having proper toilets gives me so much satisfaction regarding my children’s wellbeing. Thank you, H2O Team!”

Photo by Tayaba Organisation – All Rights Reserved

Noor Bano’s story is one among countless narratives that exemplify the transformative power of an immediate and simple solution like that of H2O Portable Toilets.  Her story serves as a poignant reminder that even seemingly insignificant changes can bring about profound transformations in the lives of marginalized communities.

As we reflect on Noor Bano’s experience, let her story inspire us to challenge the status quo and strive for a world where everyone’s basic needs are met with fairness and compassion. Each step in this direction brings us closer to a future where fear is replaced by freedom, and every person can live with dignity. Together, let us be the catalysts of change and create a world where every person can truly experience the freedom and empowerment they deserve.

We would love to hear your thoughts on the transformative impact of H2O Portable Toilets and the freedom they bring to marginalized communities. Share your insights on how you envision a future with improved sanitation and dignity for all. Join the conversation by emailing us at [email protected].


Published on 9th June, 2023

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