‘Usafi wa Mazingira Tanzania’ (‘Sanitation and Hygiene Programme in Tanzania’) supports the country’s National Sanitation Campaign by helping communities improve their sanitation and adopt sustainable hygiene practices. The programme works in three districts in Dodoma Region, through local and international NGOs and in partnership with village, district and regional actors.
Activities during the year included triggering rural communities; providing training to artisans, entrepreneurs, community leaders and data collectors; boosting demand-creation activities; helping communities develop business initiatives, such as savings and loan schemes; training teachers in school WASH; and supporting the development of school health clubs. A sense of ownership to create improved conditions was also encouraged. For example, women’s groups were supported to lead CLTS processes, which helped speed up programme results. Together with stakeholders, the programme also organized and participated in campaigns around Tanzania Water Week, menstrual hygiene management and Global Handwashing Day.
By late 2015, the first four villages, comprised of 19 sub-villages in two GSF-supported districts, were certified ODF.
As a result of drought in some programme areas, many community members had to shift their focus from investing in sanitation and hygiene to providing food for their families. Heavy rains followed the drought towards the end of the year, with subsequent floods causing casualties and significant damage to households. Many latrines were washed away, as many people’s latrines did not yet have the adequate infrastructure needed to withstand such strong hazards. Achieving ODF communities has been a key challenge in the first three years of the programme, due to a long preparatory period, institutional and normative issues, and the large number of sub-villages in many villages. To achieve more rapid results, the programme shifted triggering activities from the village to the sub-village level in late 2015, providing refresher CLTS training to Sub-grantee staff. This change also helped the programme better incorporate data from National Sanitation Campaign registers that are filled at the sub-village level. It is expected that ODF rates within villages will accelerate in 2016, catalyzed by the four villages that have been certified.
Learning and innovation
Strategies for demand creation and supply-side activities have been fine-tuned in 2015, taking learning into account, and various innovations have been established. Together with local partners, leaders and community members, one Sub-grantee introduced the practice of placing red flags on households without improved latrines, and removing the flags once these facilities were built, ideally within seven days. Another Sub-grantee supported a scheme where local entrepreneurs and artisans work with households to improve existing latrines. After assessing all latrines in the village, artisans itemize costs for improving individual latrines. If an owner wants an artisan to improve his or her latrine right away, he or she must sign a form agreeing to pay for the materials and labour costs within two months. The artisan then obtains the relevant materials from an entrepreneur via a loan agreement, and builds the latrine.
2016 objectives include continuing to support ODF achievement in communities; mobilizing communities to climb the sanitation ladder and practice handwashing with soap at critical times; delivering information, education and communication campaigns across all targeted households and community institutions; developing stakeholder capacity and strengthening monitoring and evaluation systems; and incorporating and sharing lessons learned.
When WASH practitioners understand the patterns and causes of slippage, they can devise innovative strategies to avoid it.
Global Sanitation Fund programmes are designed to incorporate gender considerations and equity dimensions.
Monitoring slippage should go beyond the numbers to truly understand behaviour change and community dynamics.