Making SWASH sustainable in Peluhanda – By Alpha Two

29th August 2016

Raleigh has been in Peluhanda village for the past two months working on a SWASH (School Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) project alongside the local community and our project partner, the Southern Highland Participatory Organisation (SHIPO). The aims of the project are threefold: First, to improve local knowledge of effective sanitation and hygiene practises. Second, to improve female attendance at the local primary school by supporting the community to construct a female-specific latrine block. And finally, we are working to provide access to safe water at Peluhanda Primary school by installing a well onsite, as well as working on other ad hoc projects including supporting school students to build bins on campus in an effort to combat littering.

working at construction site
Alpha Two working at the construction site for the female-specific toilet block at Peluhanda Primary School.

Environmental sustainability is at the very heart of everything we do at Raleigh. All of the constructions Alpha Two have been working on over the past few months are made from simple technology and locally sourced materials, making them easy and cheap to maintain. Another sustainable aspect of the SWASH project is that it is very much Peluhanda’s project. The local community have provided all of the materials including bricks and timber, much of the labour, and carried out most of the planning. The people of Peluhanda have invested a lot in the project and have complete ownership, meaning the positive effects of the project are likely to be long lasting.

To make a community development project sustainable it is important to target youth as well as the older generations. Every afternoon we run a SWASH club at Peluhanda Primary School where we invite school students to join us as we sing songs and play games that highlight good sanitation and personal hygiene practises. Daniel, Alpha Two Venturer explains our approach; “Children are good ambassadors for creating change. The idea of the SWASH club is that students will take what they’ve learnt here home and teach their families, creating wide-spread positive change at the community level”.

teaching at the local school
Teaching children at the local primary school about SWASH

In addition to running the SWASH club, we are recruiting students and teachers at Peluhanda Primay School to act as SWASH monitors after we’ve left the village. Some of the roles we have assigned include Tippy Tap Officer, Toilet Officer and we have also trained someone to explain how to use the new incinerator which we are constructing in the female-specific toilet block.

The Peluhanda community continue to show us that they are motivated and actively want to bring change and value the work we are doing together.  For example, during the Phase One Action Day, the first Alpha Two demonstrated how to build tippy taps, and now we’re absolutely thrilled to see that almost every house in the village has set one up. A tippy tap is a make-shift tap made from three sticks, a jerry can, and a bar of soap. It is a simple and effective way to wash your hands, whilst reducing any unnecessary waste of precious water (see photo below). Alongside the almost universal adoption of tippy taps, we’re happy to see our homestay families starting to use the ‘Six Steps of Handwashing’– a method of hand washing which we recently introduced to the children who attend our school SWASH club.

children using a tippy tap
Students using a tippy tap

As our time in Peluhanda draws to a close we are feeling very proud of what Alpha Two, the community of Peluhanda and SHIPO have collectively achieved. We have supported the community to build a female-specific toilet block at the local primary school, as well as constructing a new well on campus and new outdoor bins. We have run an awareness raising campaign at the local school and in the wider community which successfully engaged a number of families who have now adopted effective sanitation and hygiene practises. The enthusiasm of the community and our project partner has been amazing and instrumental in bringing about these positive changes and we hope that the measures we have taken to ensure SWASH sustainability means that the impacts will be felt for years to come.

By Alpha Two

Photography by Steve Freeman

 


Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Tanzania