Having a pit latrine with a lid to cover the hole in the floor, tippy tap, a low tech, low cost water saving hand washing device after defecating and a rubbish pit to ensure hygiene had been a serious problem for many households in Chindungwa village in Traditional Authority Pemba in Salima district, leading to incidences of diarrhoea.
However, the situation is now improving as many families can now boost of having a pit latrine with a lid to cover the hole in the floor, tippy tap for hand-washing and a rubbish pit of their own thanks to Zisinthe Radio Listening Club ((RLC) from the area which is working with Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO) which is implementing the Heath Communication for Life (HC4L) project, a five-year, $24.7 million project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through FHI 360 as a prime contractor.
Sauda Fahadi, 22, from Chindungwa village is one of the villagers who was sensitized by Zisinthe Radio Listening Club members on hygiene, importance of promoting hygiene by having a pit toilet with a lid, a tippy tap and a rubbish bin at her house. “At first I did not know the benefits of having and using a tippy tap for washing hands after defecating which lead to diarrhoea,” said Fahadi, a married woman with one child. She remembers how she frequently visited the clinic with her children with diarrhoea problems but now she claims that it is a thing of the past.
The tippy tap has helped a lot in terms of hygiene at Hahadi’s house as her children now able to wash their hands with soap after defecating. “At first children used to go straight to a water pot to drink water after defecating without washing their hands with soap.”
In order to make sure that the hand-washing after defecating is not in vain, Fahadi also ensures that the hole for the pit latrine is always completely covered with a lid which is very crucial in preventing houseflies from getting in and out of the pit latrine with germs that can lead to infestations.
YONECO is implementing HC4L in four districts of Chikwawa, Salima, Nkhotakota and Nkhata-Bay.