HYGIENE, WATER AND SANITATION

The hygiene, water and sanitation project was developed due to people in Rwandan villages suffering unnecessarily from cholera, dysentery, diarrhea and other water borne diseases. These diseases spread because of unhygienic practices i.e. unclean drinking water and the use of unsanitary toilet facilities.

At present, Rwanda suffers from great disparity between urban and rural areas. Urban areas benefit from better amenities due to improved infrastructure while many people in rural areas still have little access to clean water and adequate sanitation facilities. Africa Ahead found in 2011 that while 32% of Rwandans use piped water, only 3.4% or as little as 0.9% in rural areas, have access to it in within their houses or plots. In rural areas, women and children spend on averages 30 minutes collecting water and only a small proportions of latrines meet safety standards.

RVCP has been running this project since 2005 and has provided two Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) Latrines for four vulnerable families each year. To date, 26 of the 125 households in the target village of Mpungwe have access to a VIP latrine and the local primary school has also benefitted from an ECOSAN latrine. Additionally, RVCP has conducted house to house teaching sessions to compliment the provision of latrines.

Aims

  1. Construct two latrines for four families per year
  2. Raise awareness about hygiene and sanitation through school education sessions
  3. Promote community education on issues of sanitation

The Project

Latrine construction

Following local governmental advice, the selection of vulnerable families who benefit from the latrines would be completed at  local community meetings. Four families are selected during village community meeting through votes of those who need it more urgently than others and who are not able to afford latrine themselves like widows, orphans children, elders and other poor families. Members of the hygiene program will continually monitor the progress of the building work, visiting the construction sight 5 times.

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VIP Latrines: Ventilated Improved Pits (VIP) are a model of latrines that is inspired by WHO. It is relatively environmental sparing, cheep and community friendly. RVCP has so far offered VIP latrines to 26 households out of 125 households of Mpungwe village.


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ECOSAN Latrines: The ECOSAN latrines are more expensive than the VIP latrines but come with a greater number of environmental benefits. The design of the VIP latrine incorporates a deep pit, threatening the contamination of underlying ground water supplies while the EcoSan model is much more environment sparing.

Ecological sanitation is based on three fundamental principles:

  1. preventing Pollution rather than attempting to control it after we pollute; and using the safe products for agricultural purposes.
  2. sanitizing the Urine and the faeces;
  3. and using the safe products for agricultural purposes.

So far we have built ECOSAN latrines at Rukara Primary school in Huye District. Now we have an ambitious project to build the EcoSan at LLCCM orphanage, Huye health center and in Rukira and Nyakagezi primary schools.

Education sessions

Having evaluated previous years’ questionnaire responses, three sessions will be given at village meetings to address outstanding issues and continuing ignorance of hygienic practices. The sessions will aim to educate villagers on these key areas and disseminate skills and knowledge on hygiene and sanitation with the help of posters.

Following the community sessions, two RVCP volunteers will conduct further house-to-house education sessions once a week. These sessions aim to evaluate the community workshops with the use of an additional interview based questionnaire and will address any outstanding problems or points of confusion related to hygiene, both personal and domestic. Two families each week for 28 weeks will be interviewed.

RVCP members also propose to conduct 28 teaching sessions in a local primary school, focusing on students aged  6-11. Lessons would focused on the importance of personal hygiene: hand washing, washing the body, oral hygiene and clean water practices. Songs, posters and group discussions are used as methods to educate pupils.

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