Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Insights and perspectives on the sanitation crisis in Viet Nam

The Unilever Foundation Ambassador Challenge, launched in 2012, is a company-wide initiative designed to build employees’ awareness and engagement with the Unilever Foundation and its five global partners. The selected employees are given the opportunity to see the positive social impact that support from the Foundation is having on people’s lives and share their insights and perspectives.


Aytek’s story

Aytek Koyun, a specialist on foods specifications management for Unilever R&D in North Africa, Middle East and Turkey, Unilever Foundation Ambassador for the UNICEF partnership, recently visited UNICEF-supported sanitation programmes in the An Giang province of Viet Nam. Photo: UNICEF Viet Nam\2014\Truong Viet Hung 
 Aytek Koyun, 2014 Unilever Foundation Ambassador for the UNICEF partnership and Foods Specifications Management Technologist for Unilever R&D in North Africa, Middle East and Turkey, recently visited UNICEF-supported sanitation programmes in the An Giang province of Viet Nam. Support for sanitation programming in Viet Nam is part of Unilever’s long-term commitment to improving the health and well-being of more than a billion people as defined in our Sustainable Living Plan.

Watch this short video about Aytek’s visit to Viet Nam and see the positive social impact that the partnership between the Unilever Foundation, Domestos and UNICEF has contributed to.

Life without access to toilets

It is simply unacceptable that millions of people lack one of the most basic human necessities. Photo: UNICEF Viet Nam\2014\Truong Viet Hung

In Viet Nam, over 3.7 million people do not have access to toilets and defecate in the open; this represents a staggering 1 in every 4 people who are forced to go to the toilet in a bush, a river or a field. “It is simply unacceptable that millions of people lack one of the most basic human necessities,” according to Aytek.

The absence of clean and safe toilets leaves women and girls vulnerable to the possibility of assault. Photo: UNICEF Viet Nam\2014\Truong Viet Hung
“Without a toilet, children in particular are exposed to the risk of disease and death. And the absence of clean and safe toilets leaves women and girls vulnerable to the possibility of assault, not to mention a potential decline in school attendance for girls – it’s simply unimaginable.”

Catalysing demand & supply for toilets

UNICEF and Unilever obserbed community members participating in a triggering session designed to help them understanding the connection between open defication and negative impacts in can have on their health and environment. Photo: UNICEF Viet Nam\2014\Truong Viet Hung

Facilitators showing community members hand washing with soap and clean water technique in the triggering session. Photo: UNICEF Viet Nam\2014\Truong Viet Hung
Through support from the Unilever Foundation and Domestos, Unilever’s leading toilet cleaner, Unilever is supporting UNICEF’s Community Approaches to Total Sanitation programme, commonly known as CATS. Aytek observed community members participating in a training session designed to help them make the connection between open defecation and the negative impacts it can have on their health and environment. According to Aytek, “It was amazing to see just how quickly people make the connection between improved health and using a proper toilet. It’s something many of us in the developed world take for granted.”

Atyek visited sanitation marketers in the Tinh Bien district who shared a range of cost-effective solutions. “With the cost of a toilet ranging from US$150 - US$250, many but not all families were able to afford a toilet,” said Aytek. “The combination of catalysing market demand while ensuring an affordable supply of toilet choices is critical to the success of CATS.”

Atyek visited sanitation marketers in the Tinh Bien district who shared a range of cost-effective solutions. Photo: UNICEF Viet Nam\2014\Truong Viet Hung
With the cost of a toilet ranging from US$150 - US$250, many but not all families were able to afford a toilet. Photo: UNICEF Viet Nam\2014\Truong Viet Hung
The combination of catalysing market demand while ensuring an affordable supply of toilet choices is critical to the success of CATS. Photo: UNICEF Viet Nam\2014\Truong Viet Hung
The combination of catalysing market demand while ensuring an affordable supply of toilet choices is critical to the success of CATS. Photo: UNICEF Viet Nam\2014\Truong Viet Hung

The role of the Viet Namese government

“Success would also not be possible without the commitment from the Vietnamese government and public health community,” according to Aytek. “I had the opportunity to talk with government and public health officials who shared with us the fact that CATS is being implemented in 31 provinces as part of the National Target Programme on Rural Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation, 2012–2015.” As part of the government’s commitment to tackling the sanitation crisis, the Prime Minister recently issued a statement of commitment that Viet Nam will be open defecation free by 2025.

UNICEF and Unilever team met with local authority and reviewed how CATS is being implemented in An Giang in compare to 30 other provinces in Viet Nam. It has been also set as part of the National Target Programme on Rural Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation, 2012–2015. Photo: UNICEF Viet Nam\2014\Truong Viet Hung
The delegation meeting with Thoi Son People's Committee in An Giang before visiting households in the districts. Photo: UNICEF Viet Nam\2014\Truong Viet Hung
The power of partnership

While more work needs to be done to achieve progress on sanitation leading up to the 2015 target date of the Millennium Development Goals and beyond, it will take continued collaboration among INGOs, NGOs, government, multilateral agencies, communities and the private sector to create a world where everyone has access to a clean and safe toilet.

Photo: UNICEF Viet Nam\2014\Truong Viet Hung
Photo: UNICEF Viet Nam\2014\Truong Viet Hung

1 comment :

  1. The pulmonology fellowship is very important for students to know the what is necessary and valuable.

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