Liberia: Preventing disease

Would you like to help save lives in Liberia's poor urban communities?

 
 

Help prevent disease in Liberia

By installing public and household toilets and sanitation facilities, you can help ensure that it's good hygiene messages that are spread around communities, rather than deadly diseases like cholera.

Your donation can do something brilliant

It will go towards funding simple but effective ideas such as introducing sanitation into people's homes, helping people like Rebecca Levi and her family.

"Public toilets were bad, very dirty, but you had to use them. If you didn't wash your hands you would have a bad stomach and cholera, but there was no water or soap. So when you finished, you just went about your normal work.

"We now have a toilet at home and my son attended hygiene training. He taught the rest of the family how to keep the toilet properly clean. And because of my new home toilet and the training, I'm dedicated to washing my hands after every use."

What your money can buy

£50 is enough to produce a newspaper article or radio programme promoting safe hygiene

£30 is enough to hire a trainer for one day to help the local community to keep the public toilets safe and clean

£5 is enough to produce materials promoting safe hygiene practices

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Rebecca Levi belongs to one of the families benefiting from Oxfam's project to provide households with home toilets.

Oxfam

A bit of background

Fourteen years of civil war and instability, has driven thousands of people from the country to Liberia's cities, such as its capital, Monrovia. But the city's inadequate infrastructure has been unable to cope with the influx.

The rapid growth of 'slum' areas with few facilities such as clean water or toilets, meant deadly cholera outbreaks were common in these densely populated areas. Even today, less than five per cent of the capital's population has a proper toilet. Most people use nearby streams and ditches, or even plastic bags, which are then disposed of on wasteland.

How we're helping

With your support, we're reducing the rates of disease by building public toilets with hand-washing facilities in several communities. And besides introducing more loos, you're also helping to pioneer a great new idea in toilet technology in the shape of 'tiger worm toilets' that can turn human waste into soil compost in a smell-free, 100 per cent organic way. In fact, these handy little creatures have a huge impact, helping to restore people's dignity and keeping their surroundings cleaner and disease-free. And the other good news is that the toilets are low cost and can be installed pretty much anywhere.

And just as important for the long-term health of communities as having the facilities, is knowing how to use and look after them. That's why we're also helping to give people the skills and the knowledge they need to promote safe hygiene and take care of their own, and their local public toilets.

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Look how far your money can go

However much you can afford, your donation will really change lives. Just ask the people we've already helped.

Kebbeh Kephe is 29 and lives with her parents and six brothers and sisters. Kebbeh has a biofil latrine and attended an Oxfam-backed two-day hygiene-training course.

 Oh my toilet, I'm so happy. Since we've had it, I haven't been ill at all. The biolfil is simple, you just bring material and construct it, not like septic tanks. There's no smell, and I use the waste from the biofil latrine as fertilizer for my vegetable garden. I sell crops at the market, and use the money for food and university fees. I just want to tell the people who brought this, thank you.