Ten communities in Makira Ulawa province will benefit from a new Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project including two schools and one health clinic.
The new WASH project funded by UNICEF and Australian NGO Cooperation Program, aims to assist children and families in Makira benefit from equitable and sustainable access to safe drinking, water and sanitation facilities and practice improved sanitation and hygiene behaviours in the target communities.
With the roll out of project implementation, World Vision Makira Area Program who will be implementing the project conducted a week long inception and a ‘Training of Trainers’ (ToT) workshop on Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) for the project staff and key provincial partners in Kirakira.
A total of 27 participants, 18 male and 9 female attended the workshop in Kirakira.
Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) facilitates communities to understand and appreciate the link between open defecation and contamination of drinking water and food as well as health impacts like diarrhoea and skin and eye infections.
As part of the workshop, participants conducted an Open Defecation free (ODF) awareness at Matanagoa village, Makira Ulawa Province on 25th September, 2014. Matanagoa Village is one of the World Vision Makira Area Program’s target communities.
During an activity exercise, the Matanagoa community people mapped out their own community to identify their current sanitation practises. This was done through the participatory exercise where all community members including children participated in the activity.
With that mapping exercise, the community people realised that they have been surrounded by human faeces all around their communities which poses a greater health risk to their lives.
Mary Kala, 27, from Matanagoa village expressed her joy with tears for being part of the training and learning more about the importance and benefits of having proper sanitation.
“We have been living with this tones of faeces, yet we never realised how open defecation brings harm to our lives especially our children,” said Mary.
“My family will start straight away to build our proper sanitation facility after this training.”
Mr Joshua Sanau, Nursing Educator and Trainer, Kirakira at the closing of the training at Matanagoa said “let’s keep our homes free from diseases and be a model for other communities to follow.”
He further encouraged the community to work together to achieve an open defecation free community.
Mr Steven Waketaku, World’ Visions Makira Maternal Child Health and Nutrition Project (MCHN) Coordinator also encouraged the community people to start building their toilets to keep healthy.
“Prevention is better than cure, this should be our take-away key message to live healthy,” said Waketaku.
The Matanagoa chief, Eric Waisi, thanked the team for carrying out this activity in his community and assured the team that his community will work together to develop a community action plan for achieving an open defecation free Matanagoa by December 2014.
Ferial Kaki and Margaret Sandy from World Vision’s Honiara Area Program were invited to Makira to conduct the CLTS workshop to support the WASH project in the elimination of open defecation in communities in Makira Ulawa Province.
World Vision Makira Area Program currently implements six projects namely MCHN, Community Economic Development project, Adult Literacy project, Climate Change Adaptation Project and the two WaSH projects (community WASH and School WASH).
By Salinda Maka’a