February 20, 2015
Voss Foundation’s 2012 and 2013 Women Helping Women projects in the Ntontozi Constituency in the Manzini Region Swaziland with implementing partners Gone Rural boMake and Rosecraft funded the construction of 7 boreholes, 285 VIP latrines, and capacity-building workshops. Gone Rural boMake recently shared a new report that evaluated how the water, sanitation, and hygiene projects have met anticipated outcomes thus far, identified challenges, and shared recommendations through surveys and interviews, and addressed topics such as access, usage, and functionality the water and sanitation infrastructure, local supported sustainability, and incidence of water-borne diseases, as well as success stories.
The report, which maintains a high level of transparency, exemplifies how Gone Rural boMake and Rosecraft are just the kind of strong local partners of which we are so proud. In addition to highlighting positive outcomes, the report explains challenges, like the fact that one of the seven boreholes needed to be repaired and that funnels used to collect water need to be stored better to avoid contamination. They also passed along suggestions, requests, and complaints from constituents, which we are addressing with the partners now.
Challenges like these are exactly why strong partnerships with organizations that have a continued presence on the ground to assist communities with the work that continues after implementation is complete, and can respond as the need arise.
We will share a full report in the coming weeks. In the interim, we would like to share a response from the interview with Aurelia Dlamini, who lives in Egebeni: Ms. Dlamini stated that “due to the bushy environment of the area a lot of people never took the issue of constructing toilets seriously. The worst part was that my home is situated not very far from some of these bushes and during hot days a very bad smell coming from the bushes used to be the order of the day. I am now very grateful that since the beginning of the water and sanitation project at least 90 % of the households were able to construct and use their toilets. Now you can easy go around the bush to collect firewood without worrying that you might step on someone’s waste. We were also very sceptical even eating our chickens which roam around as they also used to feed on the faecal matter lying all around. I had decided to put my chicken stock under enclosure to ensure that they did not feast on the dirt in the environment.
I would say the life of the people has been greatly changed in that regard, as we are now seeing a cleaner environment with less or no people practicing open defecation. Our lives have been improved as many people are glad that now they drink water without worrying about getting sick or consume our chickens with little worry about the mentioned points. We strongly believe that the people of eGebeni will now live longer as they access clean water.”
Thank you to all our Women Helping Women supporters, and to Gone Rural boMake for providing the report, and for your honesty and transparency! We look forward to updating our supporters with more news soon.