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Reform Magazine | October 19, 2017

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A letter from… Gwanda, Zimbabwe

A letter from… Gwanda, Zimbabwe

Martha Munyoro Katsi sees what difference a toilet can make

I was fortunate enough to grow up in the city – Harare – where there is running tap water and a clean toilet; in those days, I never knew there were people in Zimbabwe who did not have such a privilege. Working for Practical Action has enabled me to see life with different eyes. As I do my day to day work with different people from various communities, I am deeply affected by the problems people go through in their daily lives, and it is my prayer every day that their suffering comes to an end.

Blindness is something one would never wish to have; it makes everything difficult – especially if you could see for most of your life. That’s the story of 46-year-old Richard Tlou (pictured) of John West/ Mphaya Village in Gwanda District of Zimbabwe.

Richard, who is married and has 10 children to look after, has been blind from early 2013, after battling an eyesight problem since 2011; he has been living in his current home since 1992, where he and his family were forced to practice open defecation.

In Zimbabwe, more than 69% of rural households do not have access to a toilet and 39% of them have no option but to relieve themselves in the open areas around their hom…

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This is an extract from the November 2014 edition of Reform.

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