Where there is no sanitation, there is a risk of disease from contamination
of the ground, especially if it occurs where children play.
When sanitation was discussed with Kamaila Water Committee, at an early stage of the project, they said that shared latrines would not be used. So each family would need their own ventilated improved pit latrine. It was agreed that the families would build their own latrine and that WfK would pay for the cement for the sanitation platform, which is the ground level slab which covers the 3 metre pit and on which a light building is constructed. We had hoped that the local Environmental Health Staff would oversee the building of the latrines, but they were not able to fit this in with the other work they have to do and with the difficult journey to Kamaila and very limited access to vehicles. So the project manager for ZIEH is overseeing the building of the latrines by the villagers. In Kamaila two villagers are studying on a community health course, they will work to persuade families of the need to build and use latrines.
A wash room for girls was built at Kamaila school during the study tour
in 2007. This is to enable older girls to come to school when they are
menstruating, otherwise they can be absent for up to a week every month.
The wash room has two compartments each with a flushing squat toilet,
shower and a tap. In the lobby there is a wash hand basin and there is
a lockable gate to avoid vandalism when the school is closed. The effluent
is collected in the pit below the building, which connects to a soakaway.
The dedicated labourers both villagers and members of the group from England built the wash room at the hottest time of the year in Zambia. Lifting the concrete slabs into place, was quite an ordeal and sadly one slab broke in the process. The determination of the group meant it was just possible to construct a new slab in time to build the super structure before returning to England.
Hand washing is one of the most effective disease prevention measures.
Local environmental health or public health personnel are best placed
to educate the community about hand washing, taking prior knowledge into
In May 2007 interviews were held in Kamaila following the completion of the water installation. A group of women said that the villagers wash their hands a lot, especially the women, but soap is very expensive, so it is rarely available. The two teachers who were interviewed said that the pupils are taught about hand-washing during their first week at school and are regularly reminded about it throughout their years at school. They said that the children wash their hands whenever they come from the toilets and they rush out to wash their hands at break time.
To make handwashing easier wash stands were handed out to families in
Kamaila village. These consist of a bucket with a tap, a plastic bowl
and a soap holder mounted on a stand. You can wash your hands in clean
water from the tap and the dirty water collects in the bowl. Subject to
Water for Kids supporter buying wash stands as
alternative gifts for friends and relatives, we will provide wash stands
for the families we provide water for.
Click here to find out more about the role of hand washing in preventing diarrhoea