Hygiene education, improved sanitation facilities and safe water combined bring about more lasting changes in health and well-being than just installing a water point and moving on.
Step 1: Village identification
We partner with local councils, Village Water Zambia and the communities to identify villages and schools to work in.
Field staff conduct an initial visit to each village and school to outline the Village Water programme and what the expectations are on both sides. Community ownership is the key to a successful project.
Step 2: Community ownership
Patrick, pictured, is the chair of his village’s committee. We supported the village, home to 228 people, in 2011.
Each community sets-up a water committee to oversee the changes, encourage participation by everyone and to organise a pump maintenance rota. Every household is asked to contribute to a fund for spare parts and future repairs.
Step 3: Hygiene education
Hygiene education sessions cover the link between open defecation and waterborne diseases, the importance of hand-washing, keeping utensils clean, food storage and good personal hygiene.
Knowledge helps people to change their behaviour. Mwaka, who lives in the village with her husband and 3 children, now stores all her plates and pots on a dish rack, instead of on the ground, where the dogs and chickens roam.
Step 4: Household sanitation
After hygiene comes sanitation. Every household commits to building a pit latrine with lid, a tippy-tap for hand-washing, and to stop open defecation. Any materials are locally available at no cost to ensure that even the poorest households can participate.
Field staff come back to check the facilities, to make sure they are being used and to ensure there is no open defecation. Once they are happy, work can begin on installing the new water-point.
Step 5: Well construction
We support the training of manual drilling teams, helping them to become independent local businesses. We contract these teams to drill all the wells we fund. When the terrain is too hard, the well is hand dug. Communities contribute sand, gravel and labour.
The drilling teams train the community in basic pump maintenance and we leave them basic tools. A hand-pumps can last for up to 15 years.
Step 6: Monitoring
Local partners carry on visiting after the project finishes, in order to assess benefits and to gather data on the impact of the project. We monitor pump functionality, sanitation facilities and most importantly, household health. This data allows us to track progress and challenges over time.
In 2014 during two follow-up visits to the village, no cases of diarrhoea, skin or eye infection were found: all three diseases had been common before the programme.