On visits to communities, we often notice that people store things in their toilets. Like toilet paper. Sometimes used, kept in a basket, and occasionally tipped out behind the toilet and burnt. This despite us telling people to throw the paper down the toilet when they’ve used it.

Sometimes people store other things. Timber. Medicine. Food. One guy was drying cassava chips out on the floor of his toilet.

We spoke to this family a few times about storing things in their toilet, before the response came back – we haven’t got anywhere else to store it. The toilet was the only lockable room they had. The rest of their home is open to the elements. It isn’t just this family – for many families, their latrine is the only fully standing, fully roofed, fully contained, lockable building they have. Mud brick buildings simply melt away over time.

So we went back to their village with a few roofing sheets left over from another job, some bricks, a couple of bags of cement and some wood, and paid some local guys to build the structure on the right in the photo. Now the family would have somewhere to store their things.

The lady on the right is now sleeping in it.

You can do so much in any one area to help people here, but they will adapt whatever they get and make it work for them.