According to statistics presented by the National Sanitation Campaign Coordinator, Anyitike Mwakitalima, during the National Sanitation Week in Dodoma, showed that the number of households with improved latrines had increased from 35 per cent in 2015 to 62 per cent in 2019 and the number of households with no latrines decreased from 8 per cent to 2 per cent in the same period.
Implemented collaboratively by the government and the government in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID), the sanitation and hygiene project is implemented in fourteen district councils in the country focusing mostly in rural areas.
The major aim of the programme is to improve management of water resources to meet sanitation goals.
Mwakitalima said that WARIDI is a five-year activity that helps Tanzania improve the management of its water resources, meet sanitation goals, and promote resilient communities in the face of a changing climate.
He named the Local Government Authorities (LGAs) receiving support as Ulanga, Morogoro Rural, Gairo, Kilombero, Kilosa, Mvomero and Malinyi in Morogoro Region.
Others are Wanging’ombe in Njombe Region, Iringa Rural, Mufindi, and Kilolo in Iringa Region, Bagamoyo and Chalinze in Coast Region as well as Mbarali district in Mbeya Region.
He noted that local government officials are responsible for carrying out sanitation promotion and monitoring activities in their LGAs but often have limited budgets to complete these activities.
"USAID’s WARIDI activity supports LGAs to reach all wards and villages where support is requested unless another development partner is already working there."
She also said that construction of improved sanitation facilities is also taking place.
"Just recently, 25 latrine blocks have been built by USAID at public schools in 25 villages. This construction will provide over 14,000 children with access to a high-quality latrine. Teachers and school committees are using the National Guidelines for Water, for Tanzania Schools to implement best practices in hygiene and sanitation," he said.
Mwakitalima said each school has formed a School WASH club where students educate each other and their communities on sanitation and hygiene practices. What is being learned at school is also expected to strengthen sanitation and hygiene practices at home, supporting community-wide behavioral change.
As of December 2019, WARIDI has supported the National Sanitation Campaign to verify that nearly 1.3 million people have access to improved sanitation facilities, and over 900,000 have access to a dedicated hand-washing station and soap in their household. Furthermore, WARIDI confirms that 615 villages now have universal sanitation coverage, which means every household has access to a latrine," he said
He noted that sanitation and hygiene messages like “Nyumba ni Choo”, “Wash your hands at all critical times” and “Tumia Choo Bora” from the National Sanitation Campaign demonstrate the importance of hand-washing and are more important than ever at this time in Tanzania and worldwide. These messages are delivered by data collectors and Community Health Workers to support behavioral change in their villages.
Community Health Workers conduct house to house sanitation and hygiene verification using the National Guidelines for Verification and Certification of Open Defecation Free (ODF) Communities. The tool is used by local government to verify if their village is ODF, which means that all houses and public institutions have access to sanitation and there is no public defecation. To track and report progress, sanitation registers are printed, distributed and used by villages and sub-villages to regularly record sanitation status.
For his part, Titho Haule, the Environmental Health Officer at Kidabaga believes that messaging on sanitation and hygiene and monitoring have significantly improved sanitation in the area.
“The state of hygiene in general is good because all people are using standard toilets, and there is even a decrease of disease outbreaks brought on by a lack of hygiene. Now the situation is good.”
He was echoed by Omar Hamisi Lijola, Chairperson of Village Health Committee (VHC) at Mtimbira village in Malinyi who said that almost all households have imprioved latrines.
“Currently, all households have latrines. This shows that people have high responsiveness in values of good hygiene practice including latrine construction and usage regardless of their living standard," he said.