Charlie 2 – Water and sanitation

7th March 2014

carry water

Mbukwenyi! We have now almost completed all our surveys which have been very informative, although tricky with the local language barrier! Some people already have tippy taps which is a great sign and the majority of people know they should use soap to wash their hands. However, we have been struck by the Nkome village residents’ lack of simple water and sanitation knowledge. Although we were expecting low levels of education on this subject we have been surprised at some of the answers to the survey questions. For example several people don’t know the main reasons for hand washing and many said they only washed their hands when they wake up. Some residents say they purify their water by filtering through a piece of cloth and others don’t purify their water at all.

The toilets we have observed are usually holes in the ground surrounded by mud walls, often without any water to flush them clean or a tippy tap. In addition, the distances some people have to walk to their water sources sometimes exceeds 1 hour, meaning many people use water holes instead where only murky dirty water is found. We have seen firsthand women and children collecting and drinking water from these holes.

carry water

A couple of our team showed a few men from the village how to use our tippy tap; we were excited to see one of them return a few days later having made a makeshift tippy tap on the back of his bike. We have since seen a similar one at a shop in the village centre. We have also seen several teachers using our tippy taps which we built outside the toilets next to camp!

This past week we have all had the chance to work with the fundis working for MAMADO to build 3 water distribution points. This will benefit the area greatly, reducing time spent collecting water and hopefully encouraging hand washing as people will be more likely to refill their tippy taps. All this work has been very eye opening and we now have a better insight in to what we can do in Nkome.

water and cows