Hygiene and Sanitation
Small changes that save lives
Water access gets a lot of attention, but hygiene and sanitation do the heavy lifting when it comes to preventing the water-borne diseases that cause suffering and keep people in poverty. Good hygiene and sanitation habits are the first steps people can take toward creating a Healthy Village.
Everyone can have a Healthy Home.
Our staff visit every single household to make sure they are prepared to make all the hygiene and sanitation changes they can make on their own, even before a safe water source is complete. Families work together to build latrines, store water safely, and keep themselves and their environment clean.
Elements of a Healthy Home
With training and follow-up, families in all circumstances can make small but critical changes in their hygiene and sanitation practices around the home. The best part is that they gain confidence and live healthier lives in the process.
Washing hands with soap stops the spread of disease. People build simple handwashing devices that save water…and lives.
Safe Water Storage
Clean water in dirty containers becomes dirty water. Families learn to keep water safe from collection to consumption.
Washing dishes and drying them in the sun, away from animals, helps stop the spread of harmful pathogens.
Building and using a simple latrine separates people from poop, drastically decreasing water-borne diseases. It also provides safety and dignity.
Keeping the household environment clear of trash and feces discourages germs, keeps people safer, and helps people take more pride in their home.
When a household demonstrates all these elements, it is awarded a Healthy Home Certificate, which is displayed proudly as a symbol of accomplishment.
Agents of change in Healthy Schools.
Kids can be powerful allies in fighting disease. They are often quick to adopt new healthy behaviors and share them with their families. Teaching children the value of water access, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) also helps make the changes sustainable in their communities. After all, these young ones have the most to gain.
Schools are a key battleground in the battle against water-borne disease. When schools have these three components of WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), kids are healthier and enrollment increases, especially among girls.
Active WASH Clubs
Student leaders make it their mission to be sure their peers know about the habits of good hygiene and sanitation. They create and perform songs and skits, and they encourage their peers one-on-one.
Enough latrine blocks for each gender are built so that students have a safe, dignified place to go. Nearby handwashing stations help stop germs from spreading. Students maintain latrines and handwashing stations.
Safe Water Source
A nearby source of clean drinking water helps students stay clean and healthy. It also means that children can stay in class without going elsewhere to find water.