WASH HANDS WITH SOAP TO REDUCE UNNECESSARY COSTS
Hand washing with soap is one of the most difficult behaviors to promote in WASH. This is simply because many people see it as a waste of time and for those who adopt it, the sustainability is not always there. This could also be because many people grew up not practicing it. As one of the strategies to promote it, 7 primary schools and 2 churches have been reached in Kijomoro Sub County with Behavior Change Communication (BCC), by Rural Initiative for Community Empowerment – West Nile (RICE-WN), with the hope of making the pupils understand the benefits right from child hood.
“RICE-WN has come with this program at the right time because we do teach them [the pupils] in class about the importance of hand washing. This lesson is very practical and it has made the pupils understand more. There was a lot of fun in the teaching and I know they are going to practice it,” said Aguta Salvin, a teacher at Robu Primary School in Kijomoro Sub County, Maracha district.
During the sensitizations, the pupils, teachers, and the Christians were taught how to make tippy taps using simple and cost effective technology (materials) because many pupils, teachers and community members expressed interest to learn about it after each session.
Washing your hands is good for your health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hand-washing is the “single most important means of preventing the spread of infection.” By frequently washing your hands, you wash away germs that you have picked up from other people, surfaces or from animals and their waste. Viruses can live on your hands for hours, and washing your hands regularly is a proven way to decrease your chances of getting sick.
A number of infectious diseases can be spread from one person to another by contaminated hands. These diseases include gastrointestinal infections, such as Salmonella, and respiratory infections, such as influenza. Washing your hands properly can help prevent the spread of the germs (like bacteria and viruses) that cause these diseases.
Some forms of gastrointestinal and respiratory infections can cause serious complications.
Make sure you wash hands with soap after using the toilet or changing nappies, before, during and after preparing food, between handling raw and cooked or ready-to-eat food, before eating, after using a tissue or handkerchief, before and after attending to sick children or other family members, after smoking, after handling rubbish or working in the garden and after handling animals, among others.
RICE-WN is currently implementing the phase 3 of the Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All (SSH4A) project with funding from SNV/DFID in two sub-counties in Maracha district (Kijomoro and Yivu) and two sub-counties in Koboko district (Ludara and Midia). The phase 1 and 2 of the project was implemented in two sub-counties of Tara (in Maracha district) and Kuluba (in Koboko district).
Report Compiled by Robert Olugu (Program Officer, WASH)