Earlier this year, Ivan and Isaac set about launching a latrine construction project as part of a little bit of HOPE’s wider health education programme.
Despite requiring a thorough period of preparation (during which our health workers selected and briefed the families receiving the latrines before sourcing and distributed the materials needed) this project has been a huge success resulting in 6 latrines being built for vulnerable families in the Bughumu parish with four more due for completion in December. The idea is not only to provide a simple facility but to equip families with a good level of health education at the same time which helps to increase the positive impact of the latrine installation. Our health workers pass on practical skills which encourage good hygiene practices within the home and ensure that families maintain a high level of sanitation long after the latrines have been built and the team has left.
Ivan, the project manager, explains how it has helped transform daily life for the families involved:
“As a result of intervention by our health workers and our emphasis on hygiene and sanitation these families have been able to improve their living conditions at home. This is especially true for Dorothy who is a widow living with nine children who has appreciated our efforts in telling families of the benefits of having rubbish pits, plate stands, a tidy compound and house, using sterile utensils and clean jerry cans for water. She says, “This has helped to reduce sickness in my children and now I hope with my new latrine a lot is going to change. My children no longer have to use the nearby shrubs as their only means of a toilet”
One of the most exciting aspects of this project is the partnership we undertake with the families receiving the latrines. It is a joint effort, financially and practically, to get the latrine pits dug and kitted out. The families usually get fully involved in the basic construction and also help to feed the builders. This partnership is a real joy for the team at a little bit of HOPE, however many of the recipients (the majority of them being vulnerable widows and OVCs) are not in a position to contribute towards the work making funding for this project more vital than ever!
As we enter into full-on Christmas preparations, and start considering all the things we might want or need, it’s worth thinking about the families for whom a functioning bathroom tops their ‘Dear Santa’ list. This is a truly joyous project to get involved with as it not only makes an immediate, practical impact but also promotes positive and long-lasting change within the home.