The Diocese of Niassa has for many years, run community development programmes in response to the area’s most pressing needs including HIV/AIDS, agriculture and nutrition. Water and Sanitation have also always been a priority, particularly in the provinces of Zambezia and Niassa. 9 out of 10 people do not have a latrine and in Zambezia 75% of the population do not have access to a safe water supply.
To address this need and to sit alongside community development work, the Diocese introduced a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme. It was upscaled in 2014 and is currently being managed by Joanna Beale who trained as an engineer and is a also a chartered water and environmental manger with other staff members Patricio and Mambo.
In this first year, the majority of the work has focused on hygiene promotion at household and community level. Volunteers have been trained as animators, enabling them to teach hygiene in their local communities. Here are the first hygiene animators in Milange.
Each animator is given a bicycle to travel around the communities training ‘counsellors’ who each represent 10 households. In this way around 9,500 households have been reached in the first year in Niassa.