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29 Open Defecation Free Comm. verifies in Rural Liberia

Jos Garneo Cephas(cephasalert@yahoo.co.uk)
Baysah Farm Villange gets  a new set of latrines
Baysah Farm Villange gets a new set of latrines

(elbcradio.com/Apr.28, 2015)-About29 new communities as Open Defecation Free (ODF) in Bong County, Liberia has verified under the the National Technical Coordinating Unit (NTCU).

“What was originally just a short-term basic hygiene promotion has become another successful Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) project,” the Global Communities former Country Director, Piet de Vries said.

Open Defecation Free (ODF), referred to a practice in which community people used plastic bags   to ease themselves or toilet around. It happens because of these communities lack latrine facilities.

During the verification recently where more than 100% of triggered communities, were represented, Global Communities Program Manager, Michael Fogbawa, said:  “We extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the entire Global Communities team for engaging these communities and helping guide them through the process.”

Global Communities last November partnered with UNICEF to distribute household hygiene kits in Ebola-affected communities to combat the spread of Ebola and lay the groundwork for long-term prevention and disease resilience through healthy sanitation practices.

Over 4,000 kits have been distributed in Bong, after which  Global Communities team turned the six-month hygiene promotion project into a small-scale CLTS campaign and has  successfully triggered 27 Ebola-affected communities in mid-February.

The Global Communities Rural WASH Manager, Elizabeth Geddeh said:  “When we triggered these communities, we were the students and they were the teachers. Now that CLTS completely depends on this relationship, you have to learn from them and let them identify their own problems and find the solution.”

 The  villages involved  provided two leaders each  to guide the CLTS process from within, community members built a total of 159 latrines, 411 dishracks, 490 clotheslines and 107 garbage pits all with local materials and no external financial support.

Most communities hold two or three workdays a week and fine community members who do not participate. The fine money is then used to buy other materials like cement.

One of the Communities’ leaders, Temnieh Kerkulah, from Ricks Farm  said:  “Everyone benefits from this process,  even those that don’t work and pay the fine still get a cleaner community,” she added.

 Majority of participants who are female – are now responsible for ensuring their own communities continue to be ODF and will begin triggering additional communities themselves under the new Partnership for Advancing Community-Based Services (PACS) Project.

 


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