First Impressions of Bwawani with Charlie 7

11th July 2017

 

Upon arrival in Bwanwani, we were introduced by the village leaders to our local host families and shown around the homestays where we will be living for the next three months. We visited the local primary school, Magereza where we will be based for most of the project. We were also introduced to the teachers who we will be working alongside during our stay. Lawrence, a volunteer from the UK is looking forward to staying with a local family and commented, “I decided to do ICS to challenge myself and be pushed out of my comfort zone and gain a wider understanding of a different way of life.”

A homestay in the village of Bwanwani

On Sunday, we made ourselves known at the local Lutheran church by attending the service and joined in with the singing and dancing that took place.  We are looking forward to getting to know the community throughout our stay in Bwanwani. Tanzanian volunteer Gafred hopes to meet lots of new people during his time working on the project, “I would like to make as many friends as I can and build connections.”

Charlie 7 join in with the singing and dancing at Church

During our time in Bwanwani, we hope to improve the water, sanitation and hygiene practices in the community, as well as constructing new hand washing, sanitary, and toilet facilities at the school. This week, we have been carrying out surveys throughout the village, interviewing families regarding their hand hygiene and sanitation practices.

Charlie 7 carrying out surveys with the community

From this initial survey, we have gathered enough data to suggest that there is a lack of information in the village regarding good sanitation practices. The community do not have sufficient knowledge on the consequences of poor hand hygiene including contracting diseases such as diarrhoea, typhoid and cholera. Much of the community is not aware of the six stages of hand washing or water treatment including purification and boiling.

To rectify the lack of education on good sanitation practices in the community, we aim to mobilise the village through holding action days, which work to raise awareness of both safe water and good sanitation practices. We will also organise meetings with community members and school teachers in order to ensure the continuation of the work we have done here in the future. Additionally we will conduct three SWASH lessons a week in the primary school to help the children learn about the importance of good hand hygiene.

Some of the Charlie 7 team preparing SWASH lessons

Alongside this, we will be constructing 18 pour flush latrines, a hand washing facility and a menstrual hygiene room at the primary school. These efforts will work to improve the sanitation facilities within the school, whilst attempting to change the behaviour of the children and surrounding community for future generations in order to create long-term improvement to the sanitation practices in the village.

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