The 3-year, US$1.6 million project, funded by Denmark’s Danida Market Development Partnership, aims to transform Danang’s plastic waste into everything from boards used to construct buildings, to designer carry bags, sold by socially-conscious brands around the world.
Building markets for sanitation always has challenges, but the conditions in Vietnam provide particular barriers. From the top levels of Vietnam’s communist leadership to local government employees, iDE needed to overcome negative perceptions of sales and marketing in order to drive latrine adoption and behavior change.
A mother of five, Ho Thi Hiu used to supplement her household’s meager income by growing rice. She would also make a small profit by buying piglets in a nearby town, raising them, and selling them fully-grown. But raising pigs is no easy task.
Compared to mainstream fertilizers and air-borne applications, Fertilizer Deep Placement produces 40% less chemical runoff and 30% fewer greenhouse gas emissions. It also increases yields, leading to a win-win for the farmer and for the environment.
Mr. Nhai, whose village lies in Tuyen Quang, is a happy recipient of iDE sanitation information. “I wish I had known that it was this cheap to have a clean latrine long ago,” he said with a smile.
The biggest barrier to handwashing is not always the availability of water or soap, but rather knowledge. Making the connection between dirty hands and disease is the first step.
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