Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
Diarrhoeal diseases are the leading cause of deaths for postneonatal under 5’s. S.A.F.E.’s WASH project, carried out in partnership with Procter & Gamble, not only delivers clean water to the some of the most hard to reach communities on the south coast of Kenya, but is inspiring behaviour change in all aspects of WASH.
S.A.F.E. use the popular strategic communication tool – high quality, mobile, street theatre – to educate and engage the community on the importance of drinking treated water and the correct usage and disposal of water treatment products. The performance also uses humour and powerful storytelling to open a conversation on the more difficult topic of open defecation, and the importance of using hand wash facilities. The overall message of the play is the transformative effect good WASH practices can have, not only on children’s health, but the health of the entire family.
S.A.F.E. use a network of community health volunteers to carry out monthly distributions of water treatment products. These volunteers also support the community to use the product by carrying out small demonstrations within their village. Additionally, the volunteers, in partnership with the local administration monitor the building of toilet and hand wash facilities. It is the aim of each village involved in the programme to be declared an open defecation free (ODF) zone.
Starting in 2011, S.A.F.E.’s WASH Project is now in its 9th year of saving lives. The project started in Kikoneni Location in Kwale County. Over the three years of this project S.A.F.E. reached 15,630 people with clean water products and education. The partner health centre, the Aga Khan Foundation saw an 86% reduction in the admissions of under 5’s with water borne diseases.
Upon arrival at the second programme location, Mkongani, in 2015, the activities were updated to include all aspects of WASH. Over the four years in Mkongani, the team reached a total of 23,019 people with clean water. The Mkongani Health Centre also saw an 86% reduction in the admissions of under 5’s with water borne diseases. In addition, during the four years of the project the toilet per person ratio reduced from 1:16 to 1:9 and hand washing increased from 0.32% to 20%.
S.A.F.E. are now implementing this successful programme in Kinango Sub-County, Kwale County.