Hygiene education helps expand the impact of clean water.
Since 2014, and as of 2017, the WFSS Hygiene Teams have brought hygiene education training to 153 villages, training over 1,000 villagers. These trainers can then train others in their villages after WFSS leaves. Hygiene education has reached over 100,000 people since we began this project.
As of May, 2017, Water for South Sudan has drilled 304 borehole wells, bringing clean, safe water to hundreds of thousands of people in South Sudan.
In 2014, Water for South Sudan formed a hygiene education team to provide basic hygiene education in the areas in which we drill. This year, we sent hygiene teams to travel with both our drilling team, and our new well rehabilitation team. The hygiene team visited 53 villages.
The goal of the WFSS Hygiene Education program is to improve health by offering hygiene training on safe practices including personal hygiene, food handling, and menstrual hygiene, and provide hygiene supplies in villages of South Sudan. The WFSS program empowers local communities, helping them improve their quality of lives.
WFSS Hygiene Education in Action
WFSS Hygiene Teams:
Travel with drilling and well rehab teams, and conduct three days of hygiene education to four men and four women in each village where a well is being drilled or rehabilitated.
Create a baseline survey for hygiene educators, to understand hygiene practices in need of improvement.
Provide “train the trainer” trainings for eight participants to cascade learning to all members of the village.
Provide supplies in each village where training occurs.
WFSS Hygiene Education helps communities to:
· Improve hygiene behaviors
· Prevent diarrheal diseases
· Encourage community management of water and facilities in the community.
WFSS uses the innovative PHAST (Participatory Hygiene And Sanitation Transformation) technique, which uses methods and materials that stimulate the participation of women, men and children in the development process. The WFSS Hygiene Teams focus on the three important messages of hygiene promotion:
· Hand washing
· Safe water
· Safe disposal of stools
The WFSS Hygiene Education process fully engages community members. Education programs are more likely to be successful if they are determined by the community, rather than imposed by others. This method is especially useful for encouraging the participation of women, and helps to build self-esteem and a sense of responsibility for one’s decisions. The method also makes the process of decision making easier with full participation of other community members. Participants can learn from each other and develop respect while sharing knowledge and skills.
Hygiene educators work as facilitators, and invite community participation to help groups to: identify important issues and problems to work on; identify possible solutions; select appropriate options; develop an implementation plan; and, evaluate the outcome of the plan.
One of the components of the training helps communities understand how germs are spread, through the “six Fs”: fingers, flies, fluids, fields, food and feces.
Bookanyara: A Hygiene Success Story
Aruel Ayuel, a 28 year old woman, lives in Bookanyara village, which lies between two streams. Villagers used to access water from the stream via a hand dug well.
Aruel said, “We always feel sick, with runny nose, fever, stomach pain, and itching throat after drinking water.” In 2014, two people were treated for guinea worm at the Carter Center.
WFSS drilled a well in Bookanyara and provided hygiene training. Villagers no longer get drinking water from a hand dug well. Villagers now know to boil and filter water before drinking if necessary. They have learned how to keep the well water from becoming contaminated by washing their hands and cleaning jerry cans.
Aruel Ayuel said, “I agree to follow good hygiene ways and drink clean water everyday. Thank you Water for South Sudan.”