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Sharing Ideas and Building Community

Mahmood* had been a participant in Operation Mercy Afghanistan’s WaSH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) project, where he had learnt many useful lessons about safe drinking water, good hygiene and the importance of using toilets.

One day he visited his nephew’s house in another province. “I noticed that there was no water and soap available for hand washing after using the bathroom,” he recalled. “All members of the village, including my nephew’s family, had health problems.”

Mahmood immediately went to work to pass on the lessons he had learnt. He found a water container, cleaned it out, tied a string with a piece of rope to the bottle opening and made a tippy tap, just as he had learned in the WaSH lessons back home. He hung the tippy tap on a ladder near his nephew’s latrine.

At first this seemed to be something very strange to the family, but soon others in the village heard about it and came to see the interesting object. They were surprised how easy it was to make a hand washing device from old water containers.

Mahmood’s willingness to learn new things and share them with others helped build community in his nephew’s village and improve the people’s health.

*Name changed


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