Under the Africompassion Healthy Villages initiative, hygiene and sanitation interventions, supplementing innovative and comprehensive water chain interventions is needed to ensure safe water from the sources and into the homes is clean and safe.
We plan to implement long-term projects in the local community alongside Project Orphans to address food security and water resource challenges. Our mission is to set up a sustainable agriculture practice (permaculture) through engagement and empowerment of locals and install a water well to provide the community with access to drinking water.
- Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH)
Under the Africompassion Healthy Villages initiative, hygiene and sanitation interventions, supplementing innovative and comprehensive water chain interventions is needed to ensure safe water from the sources and into the homes
- The Issue
Poor sanitation and hygiene is a cross-cutting health concern in all rural Tanzania villages. Poor sanitation leads to diarrheal diseases, which are responsible for deaths of children under five. Poor personal and household hygiene can lead to trachoma, increased rate of infections, and a number of other diseases. A home with standing or stagnant water can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and increase malaria rates not just for that family, but for the neighbors as well.
- Sanitation Education
We educate our village communities about the importance of household hygiene, personal hygiene, and sanitation through outreaches. We also have partnerships with local schools, encouraging children to adopt personal habits of hygiene, and to help their schools and their families adopt small sanitation measures like having a hand-wash container outside of latrines.
To teach about the importance of safe water, we hold village outreaches about the importance of gathering water from the available sources even though many of these sources are not safe, and importance of treating — or at least boiling — water intended for consumption. We also educate villagers about the nature and danger of water-borne diseases contracted by drinking contaminated water. At times we bring in local community-local leaders to do educational performances or outreaches about safe water.
Africonpassion continues to facilitate safe water outreaches. Village Health Teams also sensitize the community about the dangers of contaminated water, and how to best to treat water for consumption.
- Latrine Coverage
Our 20 Healthy Villages were chosen partially on the basis of having very poor latrine coverage, a condition that increases the prevalence of cholera, dysentery, worms, and many other diarrheal diseases. We conduct ‘Sanitation Pushes’, innovative and inclusive campaigns to increase latrine coverage and sanitation measures in our villages.
- These campaigns involve four steps:
Africompassion Village Project conducts pre-campaign and post-campaign household surveys to determine the increase in coverage for each sanitation improvement, and follows up with households to help finish the longer projects such as latrine construction.
We work with our community Village Health Teams to create ‘model households’. The Village Health Teams demonstrate all the sanitation improvements at their own homes, including tippy taps (what is a tippy tap?), latrines, plate stands, drainage systems for cooking areas, and rubbish pits.
We gather teams of high school students, local government officials, and the community Village Health Teams for the Sanitation Campaign. Each team works in one neighborhood of the village, going house-to-house during the sanitation campaign and making improvements to the homes it visits.
Over the week-long Sanitation Push, the community becomes excited and motivated to make sanitation improvements to their homes, and learns how to build the sanitation improvements from the teams made up of their neighbors and friends. The cumulative effect is the spread of sanitation improvements throughout the community and a major increase in sanitation coverage over the course of just a few days of hard work.
Where needed, we share with potential donors, friends, and other water well organizations to help construct wells in our Healthy Villages, using our already-established Community water committees
We partner with the villagers themselves, who donate the land, and provide any assistance to the drilling company who works and live in the village during the whole process.
This method of partnership forges a sense of village ownership over the well, so that the community will continue to maintain and repair the well over the years, instead of looking donors. We help the village to establish, if they do not have one already, a Water User
Committee, who collects some small amount of money from the villagers for just this purpose.
All well locations are chosen so as to reach at least 100 households, and for many families this is the first time they have ever had access to a clean water source. Over the course of our work in each community, we hope to construct enough wells that every family is proximate to at least one clean water source. The number of wells required, therefore, depends on the size and lay-out of the village.