July 2016

June 2016

  • Trachoma is the world’s leading cause of preventable blindness. Young people with trachoma are unable to go to school, while adults are unable to work or care for themselves and their families. According to the local health department, Simanjiro district in the Manyara region of Tanzania has a trachoma prevalence rate of 65%.

    The biggest causes of trachoma’s continued existence are: 1) open defecation, which is partially practiced due to low latrine coverage (an average of 23.7%); 2) traditional norms and customs that don’t encourage good sanitation (e.g. toilet use use of toilet and good hygiene practice). Once contracted, the disease spreads due to poor sanitation and hygiene practice. The situation is further complicated by a limited water supply. Due to prohibitively high running costs, the most common source of water is boreholes.

    To prevent the further spread of this fast growing tragedy, the trachoma elimination strategy we have adopted, SAFE (Surgery, Antibiotic, Face Washing and Environmental Sanitation), needs more stakeholders to shift their focus from curing the disease to preventing it. Our SAFE Project will focus on prevention through a comprehensive WASH programme that will emphasise the importance of facial cleanliness, hand washing and environmental sanitation.

    continue to objectives

    Overall objective

    To prevent the spread of trachoma by changing community behaviour towards good personal hygiene and environmental sanitation practices within the project areas. We will do this by implementing the WHO strategy on eradicating trachoma in an integrated WASH intervention.

    Specific objectives

    • To improve sanitation and hygiene practice at schools and in the community through education and campaign programmes to minimize the spread of trachoma.
    • To build community capacity and strengthen managerial competency to sustainably manage the existing water scheme,
    • To build community capacity and raise awareness of trachoma prevention and control measures at early case identification for treatment.
    continue to approach

    Together with local partner CBHCC, Simavi implement the Trachoma SAFE Communities programme to prevent the further spread of trachoma by changing community behaviour towards good personal hygiene and environmental sanitation practices within the project areas. We will do this by implementing the WHO-implemented SAFE strategy on eradicating trachoma in an integrated WASH intervention.

    The SAFE-strategy stands for Surgery, Antibiotic, Face Washing and Environmental Sanitation. Within our programme, Simavi will specifically focus on the Facial cleanness (F) and Environmental sanitation (E) components of the SAFE Strategy.

    There are eight main strands to our approach:

    1. Create awareness amongst stakeholders at different levels to facilitate achievement of the project’s core objective.
    2. A baseline survey on hygiene practice in the community.
      We’ll use different tools to identify environmental sanitation and hygiene practice in schools and the community. For example, pupils will be given a checklist to fill out under the supervision of school health teachers.
    3. Identification and Training of Community Owned Resource Personnel (CORP).
      CHBCC will recruit CORPs who will be responsible for raising awareness of facial cleanliness and environmental sanitation information among their fellow community members. They will also contribute to eliminating trachoma disease within project areas by using different approaches, including Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), Participatory Hygiene And Sanitation Training (PHAST), and a Rights Based Approach (RBA). CORPs will be carefully selected and must be literate, locally resident and acceptable to the community.
    1. Identification and Training of Artisans.
      Together with the community, CBHCC will select artisans to be trained in two wards. These artisans will be responsible for the construction and rehabilitation of latrines in his/her community. In addition, the artisans will also disseminate personal hygiene behaviour and environmental sanitation information so that every household in the projects areas has access to a latrine and knows how to use it properly.
    1. Training of school head teachers and health teachers.
      In cooperation with head teachers and school committees, CBHCC will select health teachers, who will in turn select health club members to be role models and ambassadors for personal hygiene and environmental sanitation in schools. These school health club members will use different approaches to scale-up personal hygiene and environmental sanitation messages to other pupils (and the rest of the community). These will include Child Hygiene And Sanitation Training methodology and a Child-to-Child approach. The school health club members will contribute to eliminating trachoma disease within, and outside,  school by ensuring every pupil is a watchdog for personal hygiene and environmental sanitation.
    1. An inter-school personal hygiene and environmental sanitation competition.
      In collaboration with ward education officers, ward health officers, school head teachers, school health teachers and school health club members, CBHCC will organize an inter-school personal hygiene and environmental sanitation competition based on school personal hygiene and environmental sanitation status.
    1. Participation towards a WASH commemorative calendar for advocacy.
      In cooperation with Simanjiro District CBHCC will participate to an exhibition of a WASH commemorative calendar for advocacy at different levels, including water week, hand washing day, toilet day and trachoma disease events. This will scale up trachoma prevention, raise awareness among different groups at different levels and increase networking between stakeholders.
    1. Identification of community role models for advocacy
      Together with the community CBHCC will identify individual role models in two wards who will scale up trachoma prevention and control practices in their community for eliminating open defecation. These volunteers will also collaborate with selected CORPs and artisans to share ideas and scale up positive personal hygiene and environmental sanitation practices in their communities.
    continue to result

    The implementation phase of this programme will fully start in 2017. We conducted some activities in 2016, but spent most of the time in inception phase and preparing baselines.

    # trainers trained to include WASH and trachoma sensitisation in their school curriculum (target 2016: 16, realisation 2016: 16)
    # hand washing facilities built or rehabiliateed at schools (target 2016: 8, realisation 2016: 8)
    # school health ckubs that have been established or activated to provide hygiene promotion and education (with a focus on facial and environmental cleanliness to prevent trachoma) (target 2016:  10, realisation 2016: 8)
    # schools where WASH sensitisation campaignes are organised (with a focus on facial and environmental cleanliness to prevent trachoma) (target 2016: 10, realisation 2016: 8)

    Situation Approach Result
  • 3 Questions

    Hilda Alberda is Simavi’s Director Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning and an expert on Menstrual Health. In 2016, she was invited by Léo Heller, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation, to take part in an expert consultation on ‘Gender equality in the realisation of the human rights to water and sanitation’. Together with a group of experts, Hilda discussed topics such as menstruation, specific challenges that women face in accessing WASH, and how to combat gender-based violence related to water and sanitation – in short, a lot of issues close to Simavi’s heart.

May 2016

April 2016

  • 3 Questions

    During the 49th session of the Conference on Population and Development (CPD) in New York, the Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI) officially launched the National Sexual Rights Law and Policy Database. We spoke with Meghan Doherty and Neha Sood, Policy and Advocacy officers Action Canada and SRI,  about the importance of this database and how it could support local communities to improve their sexual rights.

  • Today, 2.3 billion people around the world lack access to adequate sanitation and 1.8 billion people use an unsafe drinking water source. Without access to safe water and sanitation, diseases spread fast: more than 1,375 people die every day from diarrhoeal diseases alone.

    Access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services isn’t only important in the home: to successfully improve basic health, WASH services and education must be extended to schools and other public places. However, the standard of most WASH services and education in schools lags far behind WASH at household level: 31% of schools in developing countries currently have no access to an improved water source. Lack of access to WASH facilities in schools contributes to absenteeism and pupil dropout rates, especially amongst girls, both of which have an influence on the general learning environment.

    Without increased, proper access to, and use of, WASH facilities at schools and at home, the health situation of a community will not improve adequately. And without more WASH facilities, existing facilities at schools or in the community/household will be overused and overburdened, resulting in their reduced lifespan.


    continue to objectives

    Overall objective

    The WASH & Learn programme will use an integrated WASH approach to work on water supply, sanitation and hygiene behaviour improvements in schools and the surrounding communities. Increasing access to, and use, of WASH facilities will structurally improve basic health, school attendance and the academic performance of children in the selected areas, as well as structurally improving basic health and empowering communities to continue to improve their own situation.

    Specific objectives

    1. Improve access and use of WASH facilities for 19,380 pupils at school
    2. Improve sustainable access and use of WASH facilities for 26,470 people from the communities surrounding the schools
    3. Improve capacity of local NGOs in: implementing WASH programmes in schools and community; business skills; and technical skills
    4. Improve capacity and involvement of local entrepreneurs in providing WASH services to schools and households/communities.
    continue to approach

    The ‘WASH and Learn!’ programme will integrate community and school WASH projects in three neighbouring countries in East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Simavi will implement this programme together with six local NGO partners, each with specific features and challenges: CABDA in Kenya, UFUNDIKO and TDFT in Tanzania and JESE, HEWASA, and EMESCO in Uganda.

    The programme will focus on schools. As early adaptors, children learn more easily than adults and are quicker to adjust their behaviour. At the same time, the communities around selected schools will be targeted to provide WASH facilities at home and at school, and ensure the community does not overuse school WASH facilities.

    Simavi’s activities

    Simavi will implement an integrated WASH approach for working on water supply, sanitation and hygiene behaviour improvements. We will work with communities on creating a positive enabling environment in which every stakeholder (including the private sector) is active, and we will ensure that people use the WASH services properly. To maximise reach, the programme will work both in schools and the surrounding communities. Our starting point will be analysing the local context and the current capacities and experiences of our local partners. Specific country and partner approaches will be developed from these starting points so we will be able to reach the overall objectives.

    Learning and knowledge sharing is at the heart of the WASH & Learn Programme. By pooling three countries and six local partners, Simavi can offer specific learning and sharing sessions on (for example) the results of small business development pilots that can be assessed, improved and scaled out. Each country will have a specific area of expertise that will be shared with the other countries for linking and learning processes. Partners will exchange expertise and learnings at planning, knowledge sharing and evaluation level, as well as at an interpersonal level.

    These exchanges will be used to monitor what partners are doing, improve the application of the sustainability tools and approaches, as well as identifying novel ways of programme implementation that will result in sustainable outcomes.

    The learning focus within the programme is based on the following five learning themes:

    1. Cost Recovery Planning – bringing WASH investment stakeholders into an agreement on how to operate and manage WASH facilities in the schools based on the FIETS sustainability principles.
    2. Risks assessment and mitigation – for pre-project execution, mid-project operation and post project management to increase sustainability.
    3. Menstrual hygiene management – to ensure girls wellbeing (academic performance, health, acceptability) in schools, proper menstrual waste management, menstrual hygiene and better facility usage during menstruation.
    4. School Health clubs – to encourage other students and teachers within the school to apply appropriate WASH behaviour.
    5. Water as a business – encouraging local partners to focus on new ways of managing water supply systems besides the traditional community management model.
      The FIETS principles are applied to all these activities to achieve sustainable change.
    continue to result

    During the 2016 inception phase the local partners developed their projects, carried out a baseline study and worked on the technical details for the proposed improvements to the WASH services..

    The programme is being implemented as we speak. The local partners are working with the selected schools to construct WASH facilities, but also to create awareness about the importance of water, sanitation and hygiene and how hygienic behaviour is good for your health.

    By the end of 2018, an end-line evaluation will be done to evaluate the results of the programme. In 2019 we will present the results of the programme here.

    Read more here.

    Situation Approach Result

March 2016

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