The project at Kombun Njak and Konchaar communities in Qua’an-Pan LGA (Local Government Area), Plateau State, Nigeria, now provides access to clean water and adequate sanitation to the two communities. It empowers the communities to take control of their own well-being through transformational and sustainable changes in behaviour a general education and capacity building of members of the communities. Enhanced training on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Nutrition and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was given to 30 community leaders and members (15 in each community). These 30 trained Health Promoters will drive the behavioural change to ensure healthy living and sustainable development.The project was completely funded by the grant of £25,000 from the Scott Bader Commonwealth Central Fund.
Prior to the implementation of any project, TASTE work closely with the leadership of the community to mobilise members for the entire project and make them aware of how it will be implemented. TASTE WASH officers facilitated the advocacy visit during which the community members were encouraged to come to self realisation of why this project is so important. It was explained to them why they should have a clean source of water and also why the practice of good hygiene affects health in regards to water use and waste management. The meeting brought together members of each community at an agreed venue. In Kombun Njak 102 (57 males and 45 females) community members attended the meeting and at Konchaar 134 (56 males and 78 females) attended. This was an important meeting for developing the participants’ knowledge in regards to water sources, water born diseases and hygiene. This meeting was going on while the survey team was carrying out the geophysical survey in the communities.
BOREHOLE DRILLING, CONSTRUCTION OF TANK STAND AND BUILDING OF LATRINES
The drilling team sunk a borehole to the depth of 120 metres in each community with each borehole powered by a solar pump which pumped water into 2 x 4,000 litres tanks (8,000 litres) mounted on a fabricated steel tower in each community. The tanks are filled three times daily (during dry season), i.e. 48,000 litres and then piped to draw-off points to serve a total population of about 5,000 people.
Women (from both communities) collecting water before the boreholes were constructed
Kombun Njak Community
Training of selected community leaders and members to champion health promotion was an important aspect of the project that provided an opportunity for ownership and sustainability of the project. The leaders of the community had the responsibility of selecting those who will participate in the training. The participants were selected from a cross section of the community and included community leaders, school leaders, religious leaders. Every effort was made to ensure equal representation of male and female members of the communities. The main objectives of the training were to:
- raise the knowledge of community leaders and members as hygiene promoters in regards to water use and management
- enable the Health Promoters to transform and be agents of change in promoting appropriate and desirable hygiene and sanitation practices
- equip participants to understand the concepts/elements and methodologies necessary for hygiene promotion
- enable the participants to understand causes, transmission routes, prevention, management and control of diarrhoea and vector-borne diseases and familiarise the participants with the tools for data collection, monitoring and presentation.
- Two teams of facilitators from TASTE conducted training sessions in the two communities.
The community leaders had informed and mobilised participants in advance and the names of the selected participants where shared with TASTE facilitators ahead of time enabling them to prepare appropriate material for the training. The training successfully trained 30 participants with 15 persons in each of the communities. The trained participants will ensure that;
- the water and sanitation facility provided to each community are well maintained and repairs are carried out quickly
- create awareness in the community such as schools, churches, mosques and during community meetings; facilitate further development in partnership with government, other NGOs and private organisations.
In each of the training sessions, participants were divided into three groups and had to go through the WASH training manual with guided questions incorporating scavenger hunt activities for some of the questions as ice-breakers. The scavenger hunt helped participants to engage adequately with the training material from the beginning to the end of the training. They were able to understand that not all clear sparkling water is clean, but it may be contaminated from its sources, which are usually unprotected. The Director of WASH for Qua’an Pan LGA was present along with two sanitation officers from the Local Government. The Director brought words of encouragement to TASTE and the trainees from the LGA Chairman. He committed the LGA to looking for ways to partner with TASTE on WASH, so that other parts of the Local Government Area will be reached with similar training.
The participants were sent into the community for Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) experience with each group visiting 4 houses each. In total, 12 houses were visited and of the 12, only 2 had latrines within the community in Konchaar. In Kombun Njak the CLTS exercise showed that in the entire community only 1 house had a pit latrine. At the close of the training an action plan was drawn up by the participants on how to transfer the knowledge acquired to other members of the community.
- WASH (Water,Sanitation and Hygiene) Training
Training in progress
Trained Health promoters
On the 22 December 2019, each separate project implemented in the two communities was commissioned and handed over to the community leaders and the communities and were charged with championing the maintenance of the facilities. Present at the commissioning were TASTE Nigerian Country Director, Nuhu Chayi, the Deputy Chairman of Qua’an Pan LGA, , the Leaders of the House of the LGA, Religious Leaders and various community leaders. The trained WASH Advocates were presented with materials they need to ensure that the facilities are well maintained. A Minutes book for meetings, a financial record book to document all finances to do with the maintenance of the project were also presented to each community. Awareness materials to be used by the WASH Advocates were also made available.
- The project was successfully completed and handed over to the community leadership
- The participation of the community leaders and members in all stages of the project implementation shows their desire to have a sustainable clean source of water.
- The training of 30 Health Promoters, we had intended to train 40, but the community leaders presented 30 (15 from each community) for training.
- The communities are willing and ready to build personal latrines in their homes to reduce the rate of open defecation
- The local government authorities were fully part of the project and are willing to support the communities in other ways.
- The availability of at least 48,000 litres of clean water daily is directly accessible to 5,000 people from the two benefiting communities. Neighbouring communities of Nasara, Samunaka, Angwan Dawuran and Angwan Manguwalk, cycle, ride motorcycles or drive to collect water from these new boreholes; the only reliable and safe source of water in the area. It is anticipated that visits from neighbouring communities will swell the numbers using the borehole by a further 11,500
- Awareness education is ongoing and monitoring visits will continue to ensure continuous education to reach the whole 5,000 population of the two benefiting communities. It is anticipated that the ongoing education awareness on water usage and hygiene practices delivered by the Health Promoters will benefit up 25,000 people over the coming years as more schools and religious gathering are reached with the message.