Luisa, 9 years old,
an internally displaced person in the Córdoba region
«We had to go to the toilet in plastic bags and bury the bags in the garden. It's much better now that we have toilets. We also have showers where we feel safe.»
Increased security through private toilets
In 2011, Luisa, her younger sister and her mother left their village to escape conflict between the Colombian government, paramilitary groups and armed guerrillas. Along with around 1,500 other displaced families, they sought refuge on the outskirts of Córdoba.
Most of these families came from mountain villages, where they had no private toilets. Many had never even used toilets. The region they now live in experiences frequent flooding, which creates health risks in terms of water, sanitation and hygiene.
Terre des hommes (Tdh), supported by Swiss Solidarity, has built 400 private toilets and trained families in their use and maintenance. The toilets have been designed to resist floods. They are also large enough to allow women and girls to wash themselves safely. Now little girls like Luisa are better protected against water-borne diseases and feel more secure. Thanks to the joint effort with the local community of Tierralta, 1'708 people, of which 235 children under five, have directly benefited from these toilets.