Local Pastor becoming Change Agent under the Cluster Approach

Updated - Monday 04 June 2018

In August 2017, JESE, one of the local NGO partners in the WASH & Learn! programme, selected households in Kyamuhemba and grouped them into 14 clusters, 10 households each. Kanweri’s cluster took immediate actions to intervene in Kanweri’s hygiene practices as the condition of her household was way behind that of most members.

Kanweri’s latrine was in a bad condition, almost falling apart and without any handwashing facility. Her kitchen was only covered by a grass roof and without walls. The rain would pour in while she was cooking. She never had a bathroom for showering. Also, it was not customary for her to boil water before drinking it.

Together with Kanweri, the cluster members managed to construct a decent pit latrine, rubbish pit, kitchen, and a dish rack for her, for free, establishing a good example of having proper sanitation and hygiene facilities which contribute to the health condition of the whole community.

With these sanitation facilities in place, Kanweri has started good hygiene practices as well. For example, she boils water before drinking. Moreover, she has been a successful change agent herself since then. She accompanies her fellow cluster members to conduct household inspections, proudly sharing her own experience wherever she goes. During pastoral visits and church gatherings, Kanweri utilises her role and sensitises other community members on the importance of sanitation. As a result of her promotion, together with the effort made by cluster members, 15 households have adopted good hygiene practices, constructing 15 new or improved latrines and dish racks.

From our experience, the cluster approach is one of the most effective methods to empower communities to acquire appropriate WASH facilities. To ensure that the clusters are sustained for a long time, JESE has integrated the Village Health Teams, a local authority entity, to monitor the progress on a monthly basis, taking this initiative to the sub-county level.

About WASH and Learn!

The WASH and Learn! programme integrates community and school WASH projects in three adjacent countries in East Africa – Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Together with six local NGO partners, Simavi implements this programme, focusing on water supply and sanitation, and hygiene behaviour improvements.

Simavi continues to work with communities on creating a positive and enabling environment in which every stakeholder is active and ensures that people are using the WASH services properly.

More information on the WASH and Learn! programme can be found here.