Kinley Wangchuk  | Intern

A two-day toilet management training for cleaners in Thimphu began yesterday. 

Bhutan Toilet Organization (BTO) will train around 60 participants from across Thimphu on the cleaning procedures and the correct use of cleaning tools, assessing sanitation and hygiene standards, and teach basic skills in electrical, masonry, carpentry, plumbing and carpentry works.

According to BTO’s Executive Director Passang Tshering, such training was necessary to change the behaviour and mindset towards such blue-collar jobs.

A participant, Wangchuk Dema said that they have to frequently remind  people to use bins to dispose of pads and tissues. Some don’t like being told by the cleaners and looked down on them.

 “This is our livelihood, so we don’t mind the criticism and what others think of us,” said Wangchuk Dema. 

The trainees were informed of the benefits of hygienic toilets, the status of sanitation and hygiene, and the government’s effort in sanitation and hygiene. 

“Many young girls don’t go to schools because of unhygienic toilets,  whereas some don’t even use toilets the whole day at schools and wait to do it at home,” one of the trainers said. 

According to research, hygienic toilets reduce child mortality and 7 percent of diarrhoeal deaths. Schoolgirl attendance and increased productivity. “An improved sanitation can also reduce child stunting,” the trainer, Rinchen Wangdi said.   

Passang Tshering said, “We’re going to conduct similar training at the regional level.”

“It is a good opportunity to learn and improve the way we work,” said Wangchuk Dema. 

Another participant, Ugyen Phuntsho works in a company that provides sewage services.  

“The training would help me expand my business and promote the new  sanitary equipment and goods we have acquired recently,” said Ugyen Phuntsho.