9th April 2014
Mambo from Charlie 4!
We are now into our final week and are all working really hard to complete our secondary project and create as big an impact as possible. We have built two demonstration rocket stoves, one in a nearby house and one in a café in a local market.
We chose to build the rocket stoves because they are much more efficient than an open fire speeding up cooking times and therefore using less firewood. The house where we built a rocket stove is an area which is most affected by all illnesses like diarrhea (found out through our household surveys) so we hope that the rocket stove will encourage the villagers to boil their water before drinking it.
The second rocket stove we built in a café because it is central to the market. We invited members of the community to watch the demonstration so that they could learn how to make one for themselves and feel included in its creation.
In addition we also put posters up around the market so that people can easily find out how to make one if they want to. Another part of our secondary project was raising awareness in Isaka Market (a neighboring village founding Kahama District). As soon as we turned up and started setting up our stall we were surrounded by interested and inquisitive locals which was very encouraging. We brought along posters, leaflets and banners which we had designed and handed out the leaflets to those that were interested, which was nearly everyone.
At the stall we also gave talks about building and using tippy taps and the correct way to wash your hands and we feel that that we spread the message effectively. One volunteer Husna also spoke to the Village Development Officer about the possibility of the village building latrines in the future. He was very interested in our work and we are confident that as an influential member of the community he will pass on our message to other village leaders.
We have successfully set up a youth group for 16 to 25 year olds in which we have chosen a President, Vice President and Prime Minister. There are currently 15 members and we hope that more people will join in the future. The group focusses on spreading the message about SWASH – School, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene and we hope that through the group our work will continue even after we have left.
The construction of the latrines is nearly finished and we have been working hard on the murals which we are painting on the walls. The first one is complete and depicts the five steps to hand washing, against a yellow background which makes it stand out. We decided to paint this on the latrine because it will remind the children every time they go to the toilet to wash their hands using the tippy tap that we have built nearby.
On the second latrine we are painting a problem tree. This shows the problems relating to SWASH, such as poor education due to sickness, as the roots of the tree. It then depicts the outcomes as the branches, for example lower infant mortality, when health and hygiene practice is improved. We hope this will make people think of the wider benefits of health and sanitation and will encourage better hygiene practices.
Whilst we have been painting local children have come to watch which shows that they are interested, and we are hoping to get some of them to paint hand prints on the mural when it is finished.
Although it is our final week in Igusule we are determined to continue spreading the knowledge of SWASH. We are going back to the school this week to work more with the students and will complete the mural as well as host our leaving party.
Kwaheri from Charlie 4.