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news | November 18, 2016 | DRC | Emergency

DRC: Three WASH projects for 200,000 beneficiaries

Communal latrines constructed by ACTED DRC teams in North-Ubangi

On the occasion of World Toilet Day, ACTED presents its work in the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector in Democratic Republic of the Congo.

ACTED teams have been working on water, sanitation and hygiene across the DRC for a number of years now. With the support of DFID, BPRM and MAECD, ACTED is currently leading three projects in this field: one west of the country, in the provinces of North and South-Ubangi, and the two others in the eastern provinces of Tanganyika and Haut-Katanga.

ACTED is a part of the DRC WASH consortium, along with many other international NGOs, and actively participates as a co-facilitator in reunions and events related to the water, sanitation and hygiene cluster.

In each of its projects, ACTED focuses - whenever it can – the following aspects:

1) Reconstruction and rehabilitation

The DRC lacks the necessary functional infrastructure, especially in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector. Vulnerable families often neither have access to drinking water, due to the lack of wells and equipped water sources, nor access to adequate sanitation due to the lack of hygienic latrines and waste management infrastructure.

Therefore, ACTED endeavours to equip villages with latrines and communal wells, like in health zones, where ACTED teams are equally constructing and installing incinerators, placenta pits, as well as impluvia that allow rainwater to be collected.

Equipping the villages with water, sanitation and hygiene structures is important, but so is explaining to the beneficiaries and medical staff how to use and maintain them. Therefore, hygiene groups and water committees are trained and then elected by the village to take charge of the maintenance of latrines and water wells, respectively. These groups are trained and equipped to ensure lasting management of these works. At the same time, ACTED is further training local artisans, who are already trained and equipped, to ensure the maintenance of these structures.

2) Awareness-raising

In parallel, awareness-raising sessions are regularly organised throughout the projects to explain to the local populations the good hygiene and sanitation practices, such as washing hands or urinating and defecating in hygienic latrines as opposed to the river.

These sessions are organised directly (with an awareness-raising campaigner who explains to the populations), and indirectly, through local theatrical performances and radio messages broadcasted on local stations.

World Toilet Day

On the occasion of World Toilet Day, ACTED is going to be conducting awareness-raising sessions, highlighting the necessity of sanitation and the use of hygienic latrines to prevent hydric diseases in Kongolo, in the Tanganyika province, under the framework of its DFID-project.

These sessions are already ongoing and aim to highlight the importance of this day to the project’s beneficiaries.