6th July 2014
This has been our first week living and working in our host community, Dolomoni. Dolomini is set amidst a beautiful landscape, close to Lake Kitanga, where we have already been lucky enough to buy some fish.
Our camp site is situated in the school playground and when we arrived there were many kids there to greet us. We have already spent many of our evenings playing football with the local children.
At the beginning of the week some of the local people took us on an orientation of Dolomoni. We stopped at market stalls, little shops and even the hair dressers to introduce ourselves. The people here have all made us feel very welcome. We have also met with the village leaders who we hope will help us with our awareness raising campaign in the coming weeks.
We were welcomed officially to the rest of the leaders at a meeting under the trees where Paul, our Team Leader did a great job introducing us and our reasons for coming here. In the past few days we have begun conducting our action research. Our research includes gaining a baseline knowledge of how the village residents feel about their current water supply, sanitation facilities and hygiene practices.
From the people we have spoken to, access to water is a big problem, with some households spending up to 3 hours per day collecting water. Most adults recognise the importance of washing your hands to help prevent disease but the lack of water is a big problem.
We have really enjoyed getting to know the children so far, playing games with them. During our SWASH project we will be focussing our campaigns around raising the awareness of water and sanitation in local schools.
We have already started showing kids the wonders of the tippy tap and whilst interviewing households were happy to see a few children had made them in their homes. We are currently arranging meetings with women’s and youth groups and hope to use these groups to reach as wide as audience as possible. Getting their support is very important to us and we will try our hardest to make a good impression.
This Sunday we are planning on visiting the local church and introducing ourselves to some more members of the community. In the next couple of weeks we also plan to shadow some local people on in their daily roles so we can learn what life is like here in Dolomoni.