MONEY raised in Herefordshire is being used to build toilets in Nepal to help improve sanitation and mortality rates caused by unclean water.

Hereford Rotary Club has sent £5,800 to a United Mission, which as part of a toilet twinning project aims to enable at least 650 of the most marginalised people in Sunsari district to have toilets for the first time.

Previously the rotary helped to build a secondary school in the village of Yangshila which was opened in 2012.

During a visit to the region rotarians noticed a desperate need to build toilets and have since been fundraising.

"Part of the project is to put toilets into schools," said Luke Conod, member and former president of the Hereford Rotary Club.

"We have sent £5,800 to this area of Nepal which will enable another 20 per cent of the population to have access to toilets and running water.

"The population is about 20,000 so it means that we have increased the access to toilets from 30 to 50 per cent will have access to toilets and running water.

"For £60 we can build another toilet which can be linked to yourself. We have sent the money already and will look at going over there again in the future."

The money was raised locally through events such as a duck race, raffles and Leominster Junior School also donated £500.

This eight-month project aims to accelerate efforts to establish an Open Defecation Free (ODF) zone in a place called Shreepur Jabdi.

Its particular focus will be encouraging households which do not currently have proper sanitation to build themselves a toilet.

The key to achieving this will be an approach which mobilises schoolchildren to become ‘change agents’ in the wider community.

The project will work with students in four schools in the project area. A clean water supply and toilets at these four schools will be installed or upgraded as necessary.

Diarrhoea caused by unclean water and poor sanitation is a primary factor in under-five child mortality rates and 13,000 diarrhoea-related deaths in Nepal are recorded each year.