This checklist page is to help us in understanding the Hunger Project’s (THPs) perspective, approach, activities, and interventions in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programs. The summaries are intended to assist in identifying issues that should be factored into the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of our WASH programmes and projects.
Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) related diseases constitute 9.1% of the total disease burden in terms of disability-adjusted life years or DALYs (Pruss et al., 2002). According to the 2006 Human Development Report, women spend 40 billion hours a year in water collection in sub-Saharan Africa alone (Carr & Hart 2010). Each year approximately 800,000 children under ﬁve die from malnutrition induced by unsafe water, inadequate sanitation and insufﬁcient hygiene (Prüss-Üstün, 2008). THP communities, and particularly THP-trained women leaders in project countries, place high priority on WASH and mobilize their communities in mass-action campaigns for total sanitation. Investing in safe water has high returns: studies show that for every US$1 invested, there is a projected US$3-34 gained — with benefits ranging from time savings and productivity gains to budget savings on national healthcare (UN Water, 2010).
WASH Intervention Definitions: (Adopted from the Lancet 2005 series)
Water supply interventions included the provision of a new or improved water supply, or improved distribution (such as the installation of a hand pump or household connection). This could be at the public level or household level (The Lancet, 2005).
Water quality interventions were related to the provision of water treatment for the removal of microbial contaminants, either at the source or at the household level (The Lancet, 2005).
Sanitation interventions were those that provided some means of excreta disposal, usually latrines (either public or household) (The Lancet, 2005).
Plan International’s CLTS projects in 8 African countries (2012) can be cited as good example of sanitation intervention. The projects collectively called as the Pan-African Programme has set ambitious target to facilitate 805 rural, 36 (peri) – urban communities and 742 schools in reaching the Open Defecation Free (ODF) status by the end of 2014; as a result , 2.6 million people would gain access to sanitation and improve their hygiene practices (TRIGGER, 2012).
Hygiene interventions were those that included hygiene and health education and the encouragement of specific behaviors, such as hand-washing. Hygiene interventions could include measures as diverse as keeping animals out of the kitchen to advise on the correct disposal of human faeces (The Lancet, 2005).
The Hunger Project WASH Interventions:
The Hunger Project as a strategic organizations does not give out handouts. Similarly, our intervention in water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) follows the core principle of our organization_empowering both men and and women to take charge of their own development. We believe that the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) introduced by Kamal Kar converges with our WASH intervention strategies and approaches. Similar to that of the CLTS, we ¨don’t believe that providing toilets does not guarantee their use, nor result in improved sanitation and hygiene.¨ Our intervention approach also resembles that of CLTS on a fact that we focus on behavioral change and community empowerment at the grassroots level to improve water supply and quality, improve sanitation and improve hygiene especially those of women and children.
THP’s WASH Interventions in its project countries include the following:
1. Capacity building:
Establishing water project boards made up of community leaders who are trained by experts on how to monitor, maintain and repair water systems;
Training people in the use and repair of water pumps and generators; and training a core of local leaders in water safety and purification so they can lead workshops throughout the community and expand grassroots knowledge.
Developing New Sustainable Water Sources: Empowering local communities to drill new wells and boreholes and repair existing ones; build and repair water towers; and construct water troughs for livestock.
2. Ensuring a Reliable Supply of Clean Water:
Providing equipment and training for testing and pumping water; empowering communities to build and repair latrines in homes, schools and public spaces; and lobbying local governments to devote public resources to water infrastructure projects.
3. Implementing Water Conservation Techniques:
Mobilizing communities to initiate drip irrigation projects, which minimize the use of water and fertilizer by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, and to develop water catchment systems, which collect rainwater from a roof or other surface before it reaches the ground and store it for future use.
Furthermore, through our WASH Advocacy campaign we hope to achieve the following:
(Adopted from Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC))
- result in real improvement in people’s lives
- empower those advocating for effective and sustainable WASH programs
- give people a sense of their own power
- build lasting organizations and alliances
- provide opportunities for women and others to learn about and be involved in politics
- add to the global WASH discussions
- have a clear target, time frame, and policy solution
- link local concerns with larger-scale, even global, issues
- provide potential for raising funds
- push for integrated and sustainable WASH projects
- enable the organization to further its vision and mission
Africa Biodiversity Collaborative Group (ABCG), 2013. ¨Freshwater Conservation and Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Integration Guidelines : A Framework for Implementation in Sub-Saharan Africa in December 2013.¨
CLTS, 2014. ¨Community Led Total Sanitation.¨
Plan Interntional, 2012. “Trigger.¨
WSSCC, 2014. ¨ WASH Advocacy.¨