March 7, 2013
Our first project in Swaziland, funded by Women Helping Women 2012, is well under way and making great progress! The community training and sanitation components are complete, and construction will soon begin on the water access points! Voss Foundation initially funded 5 boreholes and 30 pit latrines in KaNdinda and Ngoyiya communities. Read below to see how we were able to build 99 latrines instead! Mashoza and Magengeni are sub-communities in KaNdinda, and KaMlimisi and Enjeni are sub-communities in Ngoyiya.
The chart below illustrates the average distance walked for water in each community, before project implementation.
We are proud to be coordinating our efforts with the Swazi Ministry of Health (MoH) and Rural Water Supply Board (RWSB). This ensures the most complete provision of services possible, through an efficient allocation of all available resources. The need for inclusive collaboration with all stakeholders, including local government, was emphasized at the 2013 WASH Sustainability Forum in Washington, D.C., attended by our Executive Director.
To begin project implementation in Swaziland, several stakeholder meetings were held in early December and January between the MoH, Department of Water Affairs, and Gone Rural boMake, our local implementing partner (the nonprofit branch of the artisan group Gone Rural). It was confirmed that the Voss Foundation water project would fill a much-needed gap in services, in the region not yet covered by RWSB.
Phase one of implementation included a Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (PHAST) Workshop,which was held January 14-18. The goals of the training were: (1) to sensitise the communities about communicable diseases and how to prevent them; (2) to explore challenges encountered by communities in construction of water supply and sanitation projects; (3) to examine the role of traditional leaders in the construction of pit latrines, water supply projects and hygiene facilities; (4) to motivate community members to make sure that the project starts and is completed within the stipulated time frame; (5) to examine and strengthen the role of water and sanitation committees. The success of the training can be measured in the positive behavioral change already visible in the community: attitudes and practices were observed to have change drastically, as the majority of the people are now eager to construct and own a sanitation structure for better health and cleanliness!
A needs assessment survey had been conducted by GRb and Rosecraft during the proposal writing, whereby the council and other stakeholders calculated the need for latrines in the community based on who practiced open defecation. From that assessment, it was determined that 30 latrines were needed, which was approved in the project proposal. However, after the training, the community learned that many of their current sanitation structures did not meet the national standard (the ventilated improved pit latrine) set by the MoH. The community, Gone Rural boMake, and the MoH reached a consensus to meet the revised, full need of 99 new or rehabilitated latrines using available funding. This goal has already been met and all 99 latrines have successfully been constructed!