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Access to an improved water source has increased steadily in rural areas, from less than 20 percent of the population in 1991 to around 68 percent in 2006. A recent Water, Environment and Sanitation Sector Performance Report estimates that latrine ownership was only 58 percent. Only 43 Percent of the population has access to improved sanitation facilities, and hygiene practices such as boiling drinking water, hand-washing and safe disposal of infants' feces remained low. The simple act of washing hands with soap can cut diarrhea risk by almost half and respiratory infections by a third. According to the Ministry of Water, Lands and Environment (MWLE) however, the average hand-washing coverage is less than 10%. (Fanta 2, 2010)
Ready access to safe water from boreholes (deep wells) coupled with instruction for establishing tip tap water dispensers are central to CSRL’s programs that promote proper hygiene and sanitation practices to help families maintain healthier and more productive lives. Additional efforts in the community include teaching the importance of school health, immunizations, personal reproductive health and development of life skills.
Kirabira Scovia's Story
Hand-washing with soap is the single most important means to prevent the spread of serious infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most people living in the United States have access to clean water, making hand-washing a simple task. But would you wash your hands as often if, like Stephen Batwaula, his wife Kirabira Scovia and their children, you didn’t really understand the correlation between clean hands and health? Or if you didn’t have a convenient washing method?
“Before we started working with CSRL, I would describe myself as having very low income with limited food. We ate twice a day. Our hygiene and sanitation was also poor. Like we never used to wash our hands after using the latrine and we fell ill frequently,” Kirabira Scovia said. After receiving training through the CSRL program, Scovia and her family use a ‘tip-tap’ water dispenser for hand-washing, a dish rack to keep utensils clean, latrines that have been properly dug and rubbish pits built according to recommendations. “In summary I can say that I got so many things—improved sanitation, food security, agricultural trade and livestock production,” Scovia said.
|Recent Assessment of Sanitation Practices among Program Households|
|Containers for Drinking Water||92||5.4||79||7|
Hand-washing and safe water are two critical components of CSRL programs which: