Written by Kathy Mutch
Dialogue with Community Health Volunteers and Others
February 7, 2018
What a great day! We had a “dialogue” meeting under the tree by Sika School to talk about community lead total sanitation. Attending the meeting were community health volunteers (CHV), parents association rep, community health committee reps, security officer. a community facilitator from Dala Rieko (translated means home of knowledge), an agriculture intern, the man who had donated the land for the school, Liz from Beyond Limitations (our Kenyan partner organization), Tracy and myself.
Community Lead Total Sanitation (CLTS) is a facilitated participatory approach that guides a community through behavioral change in their approach to sanitation and disposable of human waste.
The CHV have been tasked to implement this approach. When there is a high majority of households with access to latrines, their Island declared will be declared an “Open Defecation Free” (ODF) area. Twelve Public Health Officers visited Mageta yesterday and did a tour of the villages to see who had latrines. Siaya District (the district that Mageta Island is located) are ready to receive the distinction as ODF area, but only if Mageta Island achieves this status. Unfortunately Megata Island has many households are still using open defication.
We learned that the people at the meeting were well informed and supportive of the CLTS approach and they told us that the villagers were also knowledge, but as we all know, knowing something and doing it can be very different things. So were talked and brain stormed together about how change can be facilitated.
At the end of our “dialogue” our action plan included:
- CHV will survey to see how many homes have/ don’t have latrines. To be completed in 2 months.
- Develop posters/ information sheets for the CHV to leave at the homes of people who are not home when they visit. Because the fishers are transient in their work, they are often not home when the CHV visit. We will search internet for an appropriate poster.
- Increase efforts to implement CLTS using some of the new ideas we discussed in our meeting. Survey again in 4 months.
It is exciting work and many people are eager to partner for elimination of open defecation. What a difference this will make to the health of the community.
Love to all our family and friends in Canada,