In order to be successful, good hygiene and sanitation practices need to include local knowledge, talents, skills, and values. My environmental design thesis explores this possibility in Nepal, a country where 60% of the population still defecates in the open, where every year approximately 10,500 children die of diarrhea, and 40% of school-aged children are infected with intestinal worms.

In Nepal, water plays a key role in religious and cultural festivals and is a means of uniting different ethnic groups under a shared umbrella of religious practices. Using native wetland plants and a sand filtration system, my project demonstrates how simple local technologies can be integrated into the routine cultural practices of daily life in order to provide a clean source of water and promote good hygiene and sanitation.