Diarrhea remains the world’s second leading cause of death and it is often caused by poor sanitation and hygiene. Community-driven behavior change is an appropriate tool to change the behavior of rural communities in a sustainable manner. Improving hardware hygiene helps to change also human behavior. When it comes to washing and storing utensils, it is important to protect them from contamination such as dust and animals – a practice that has not existed in rural villages. Traditionally people in rural communities have not paid much attention to the hygiene aspect of storing utensils. After raising awareness and creating demand, communities have started to dry and store utensils on drying racks.
In the program districts of RWSSP-WN II, the project team encourages the communities to store wet utensils after washing in a safe and hygienic manner. As a consequence, people discuss about different options and select an appropriate model which can be constructed, handled and maintained by themselves. Some people prefer to construct the rack inside their kitchen and some prefer to construct it outside their houses. When people are told about the merits of drying racks they are mostly willing to construct one for themselves. Most of the drying racks are constructed using local knowledge and materials. Here are examples of some drying rack models made by rural people that show how the racks can be constructed in many different ways.
Examples of typical drying racks
Drying rack of this picture is constructed inside of a traditional house which is a rare case in the villages. This drying rack is located nearby the kitchen with a washing platform and a tap. The owners have also constructed a small altar in the drying rack. The altar guides people to put only clean utensils on the rack as nobody would put a dirty pot in the same line with God and Goddess. Appropriate rituals can be applied to promote sanitation and hygiene.
Drying rack of this picture is designed to be movable because the owners are busy and have no time to stay at home until the utensils are dry. Since the owners go out for work and there is no one in the house during daytime, someone could steal the utensils from a rack. Moreover, this kind of rack can be shifted from one place to another where there is sunlight in order to make the utensils dry faster. In these conditions, this traditional basket (tonjyang in Nepali language) makes an appropriate drying rack.