Tuburah Cooperative at Black Sand and Samapeta Cooperative at Erakor Half Road have broken through with their own brand of highly effective toilet paper called Topwan, for distribution through the Vanuatu Cooperative Federation Network, beginning with cooperatives based on Efate.
The toilet paper costs Vt350 per plastic bag with important messages for the user to learn from to stay healthy.
Both cooperatives are managed by women who have been voted in by men. Now the men have left the enterprises in the hands of the two women.
WASH Business Development Officer for Live and Learn Vanuatu, Sam Blondell says the NGO has been involved in Sanitation with the communities to train members how to build improved toilets to down poverty and improve health standard in the communities. “We at Live and Learn believe we can contribute to downing poverty through building improved toilets in the community”, he says.
“The more we use improved toilets, the better the chance for our children to enjoy good health and the more they enjoy good health the better the chance for them to grow up healthy and bright and they do well in school”.
The NGO provides budget to train the communities to build better toilets.
The truth is that traditionally nobody wants to talk about toilet because it is seen as personal and taboo. But the mentor says in reality a toilet without toilet roll is not complete as it comes hand in hand with “its friend” toilet paper.
Now that they have ventured into potentially financially sustainable enterprises, Live and Learn will continue to mentor the cooperatives to the stage where they prove they can operate on their own.
Director of Cooperatives Ridley Joseph has a bright smile on his face as he calls on all cooperatives to order Topwan toilet paper from the two cooperatives. Topwan toilet paper is unique as it is easy to wash away and is disease free as it comes from especially ordered ‘virgin paper’, as opposed to other toilet papers which are manufactured from unhealthy chemical infiltrated recycled paper.
While thanking Live and Learn for their training programme, the Director also wishes to thank the Australian Government through AusAID for its funding support.
Meanwhile WASH Business Development Officer Blondell wishes to thank the Manager of Cellovila for his sound cooperation with Live and Learn regarding the positive future ahead for the two cooperatives.
He says the Manager has assured them that Cellovila would be only too happy to help the cooperatives in the future by catering for any business expansion including potential export of their product.
Cellovila manufactures the product from specifications from the cooperatives and is not worried about competition. “The company understands the ni Vanuatu spirit of development as adopted by the two cooperatives and assures the cooperatives that it is ready to help them in their enterprises”, Blondell explains.
“We at Live and Learn believe we can contribute to downing poverty through building improved toilets in the communities. The more we use improved toilets, the better the chance for our children to enjoy good health and the more they enjoy good health the better the chance for them to grow up healthy and bright and they do well in school”.