The last couple of weeks have been exhausting but also incredibly rewarding as we can now witness the positive outcomes of the work we have been doing. We managed to collect enough resources in Mchere to complete the building of 10 more latrines. Previously the Mchere camp had just 4 latrines shared between over 2,000 people. And even worse, these previous latrines were not structurally sound or even clean to use.
As well as constructing the toilets a big part of the work we are doing is promoting good hygiene. With the help from our partner, Concern Worldwide, bars of soap were distributed across the camp, with buckets for washing hands. We ensured households as well as hand washing stations were stocked up with the soap and water by setting up a ‘Camp committee’ in the community. Hand washing stations were put outside the toilets as well as at the feeding centres for the cooks and for the people collecting their food.
However, giving out soap isn’t enough; education plays a huge part. The Camp Committee made up of the community members were trained in good hygiene promotion so they can continue facilitating workshops to encourage good hygiene practices to the rest of the camp. People were reminded the importance of using soap and running water to wash their hands, and not just after the toilet but before other activities such as preparing food and feeding their children.
This facilitation across the camp has been really effective as we have noticed the mounting of hand washing facilities close to the latrines and the food centres. To build toilets isn’t enough to save lives we need to help encourage and support good hygiene behaviour. I am proud of the work we’re doing and even more so when we can see it being put into practice.
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