September 10, 2014
Over the past several months, the pace of work has increased on Voss Foundation’s 2013 Women Helping Women project in Swaziland with implementing partners Gone Rural boMake and Rosecraft. Mbingo Velakhe Solomon, Gone Rural boMake’s WASH Project Officer has provided several implementation updates.
In April, a three-day Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Training (PHAST) workshop took place. Out of the 222 homesteads in the project area, 150 attended the training. Over the course of the three days, the community learned about the connection between water, sanitation, and hygiene, and how to construct and maintain their own ventilated pit latrines. In addition, they formed two sub-committees who are responsible for the maintenance and management of the two hand-pumps. One unanticipated outcome of the PHAST training was that an additional 144 homesteads determined they needed to construct or rehabilitate latrines. The project originally budgeted for 45 latrines. By revising the project timeline, and using a combination of locally available natural materials and purchased materials like corrugated iron sheets and toilet seat covers, 58 new ventilated pit latrines were constructed and 127 latrines were rehabilitated. All ventilated pit latrines were constructed to meet Ministry of Health (MoH) standards – 2 meter by 1 meter deep holes, 2 meter high walls, and a door made of naturally available materials.
Geo-surveying took place in late May. (NB: The policy of the MoH stipulates that both WASH training and construction of ventilated pit latrines should take place prior to the construction of water-related projects to help prevent the spread of waterborne diseases. The government protocol is to wait until sanitation infrastructure is 90% complete before geological surveying for water-related project begins.)
Based on the survey, two sites, Logobho and Slutjana, were selected for drilling. Drilling took place in June. According to Mbingo, “the survey report had estimated 50m as the final drilling depth for both boreholes and this coincided with the drilling exercise. [Based on the pump-test results, which always place before handpump is installed,] two Afridev pumps have been requisitioned [from UNICEF]… This suggestion follows drilling findings of a high water table (between 30m and 50m) in both areas. These specs best suit the competence of the Afridev pump.”
Mbingo explained that “site visits are important for ensuring that the number of hand pumps requested for donation match the number of drilled boreholes. Site visits were conducted by UNICEF and GRb’s WASH Manager at all borehole sites, and permitted the release of the donated hand pumps. The pumps were collected and delivered on respective sites accordingly. [Additional hand pump materials were also procured.]” In addition, for purposes of ownership, the community participated in trenching, concreting, fencing of the hand pump sites.
Thank you to Mbingo and the GRb team for the detailed updates. Check the website in the coming weeks for a recap of the hand pump installation and to see the project completion report.