Water and sanitation: A global citizen issue?

16th March 2017

Global Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation’s aim is to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. Some of the targets include:

  • By 2030 achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations
  • Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management

When we arrived in Chimlata we were all interested to learn more about the construction of the latrine block at the primary school and meet with the community. We soon realised the need for the new facilities, something that each of us would take for granted in our homes. Learning that in a school of over 400 students many of which, particularly females, struggled to attend due to the lack of facilities inspired and motivated us to get straight to work with the community and the local fundis (builders). Also, knowing that we would be contributing to a worldwide initiative has given us the drive and determination to get the project finished as soon as possible.

As author Deepak Chopra said, “Although we take it for granted, sanitation is a physical measure that has probably done more to increase human life span than any other kind of drug or surgery.”

Alpha 3 are helped by the local community on project site.
Preparing to lay the foundations for the structures

The goal of our time in Chimlata is to change the quality of sanitation for the students of Chimlata primary school.  By adding an additional ten toilets, plus two disabled toilets and a female menstruation room. We aim to:

  • Reduce the number of germs spread and level of illness amongst students
  • Keep girls in school during menstruation so it doesn’t affect their education

We have received so much support already from the local villagers and fundis; they are just as motivated to complete the project as we are.  From day one we have all been working together and we have all learnt new skills to keep driving the project forward.

“I have learnt many things from the Chimlata project like mixing concrete and making bricks, which I have never done before.  I also like working with the local villagers and fundis, it gives the team a big push to work hard knowing they’re working with us.”  Abdul, Tanzanian Venturer

“One of the best things I’ve seen is when a local fundi taught one of the venturers how to make a brick for the first time and then 30 minutes later that same venturer was passing on his new skills to teach others within the Alpha 2 group.  To see the cooperation between local fundis, villagers and our venturers is so inspiring and I hope it continues to grow boosting the project even more.!” Kate, Volunteer Manager and Expedition Medic

Alpha 2 are helped by the local community on project site.
Alpha 2 working with the local community at the project site

We recognise that the remaining time on the project site will be physically demanding but will be equally fantastic. We want to give the next team a big head start so we complete the project. Additionally, we have just begun awareness raising lessons to all year groups in the primary school on water safety, good sanitation and hygiene practices. We are also planning a whole school session on how to build a Tippy Tap (washing hand facility) so that students can copy and repeat this simple construction project in their own homes. This will encourage good hand washing behaviour within the whole village and beyond.

Whilst working together with the local fundis and community and through awareness raising activities around good sanitation and hygiene, our aim is to empower the community and create a sustainable foundation so similar projects can continue in the village. Thus supporting Raleigh’s vision and the UN’s Global Goals to support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management and ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Tanzania