Sanitation and hygiene: nurturing good practices

 

Lack of water and sanitation facilities poses serious health risks and exposes the affected population, especially children to illnesses like diarrhea, cholera and other outbreaks. Delivering safe water and ensuring adequate saitation and hygiene on a daily basis to a rapidly growing population of refugees is a never-ending challenge for the Government and its partners.

Currently, there are 80,085 household latrines in place, which works out at 36% latrine coverage overall.

9,950 communal latrines have been constructed in refugee settlements, with an average user ratio of 32 people per latrine.

The decommissioning of filled-up communal latrines is however still a challenge. This is also the case for the 1,964 institutional latrines that are currently in place.

Throughout the settlements, people are progressively constructing household latrines.

However this is hindered by lack of latrine construction materials, inadequate community mobilization efforts, and population composition for the new refugee settlements (mostly women and children) causing a lag in the progress of household latrine constructions.

Currently, the ratio of hygiene promoter to households stands at an average of 1:685 with plans to recruit and train 832 hygiene promoters in 2017 - leaving a gap of an additional 678 hygiene promoters required.

To address the supply pipeline issues, there is need to explore opportunities for cash-based interventions for sanitation options; and provide different option for long-term latrine superstructure and slabs (e.g. more durable slabs with easy-to-clean surfaces.

Training is required to ensure that the concrete is mixed and laid correctly. The slab can be made near the site of the latrine to reduce transportation problems.

Investments in community mobilizers (public health motivators/ mobilizers) to achieve sanitation and hygiene promotion goals in refugee settlements and host populations is also crucial (small cost - huge returns).