The Highway Restroom comprising two units of toilet at Wangsisina in Thimphu was inaugurated and handed over to the five vegetable vendors operating in the area on Thursday.
The five vegetable vendors will take turns to run the facility here on. The two units of toilet at Wangsisina is one among the many programs the Bank of Bhutan (BoB) undertook as part of their Golden Jubilee Celebration last year. Bhutan Toilet Organization (BTO) had constructed the toilets with funding support from the BoB.
“For the leading bank in the country to invest in public toilet as part of their celebration was historic in itself. Thank you,” said Chablop Passang Tshering, the founder/director of BTO.
The inaugural ceremony was graced by BoB’s Chief Executive Officer Dorji Kadin.
While the two-unit toilets were due to complete in August 2018, the BTO director said they were never prepared for the various obstructions that they had to face.
“It taught us many critical lessons, which we hope will be of great help in our future projects. We are happy that we could finally open the facility as BOB is preparing to close the Golden Jubilee celebration this month,” he said.
He added that people can now stop at Wangsisina to take toilet break and buy organic local products.
Meanwhile, the Paro-Thimphu highway toilet project is part of the bank’s 50th Anniversary celebrations.
According to the bank, 17 stalls along the highway are engaged in trading their farm produces and with the business thriving over the years, many families are depended on the business. The majority of the vendors are women and it’s encouraging to see them providing for their families. However, it’s clearly evident that they lack access to toilets. There is no toilet infrastructure anywhere nearby.
The bank now hopes that vegetables vendors and travelers along the highway can avail clean toilet facility.
Besides creating awareness on the importance of toilets and contributing towards achieving health education, the bank hopes that such facilities will empower women and create an enabling environment for them to engage in farming and trade, thus boosting local trade.
Tshering from Thimphu