At the 2014 Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) Day celebrations in Zambia, YASH Pharmaceuticals partnered with the WASHplus SPLASH (Schools Promoting Learning Achievement through Sanitation and Hygiene) project, funded by USAID/Zambia, to provide 150 Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) kits for girls at Kabulonga Girl’s Secondary School in Lusaka. The popularity of the reusable pad-making demonstration at the event spurred YASH to undertake its own production of reusable pads.
In January 2015 YASH and SPLASH signed a memorandum of understanding to codify their public-private partnership. YASH will employ local women to sew reusable pads; 10 percent of all pads produced will be distributed to SPLASH intervention schools where SPLASH provides MHM support and education with the goal of keeping more girls in school. Production is underway and the pads are being piloted in SPLASH intervention schools. Comments received from users so far indicate the pads are of high-quality fabric and very comfortable. SPLASH is seeking additional partners to purchase and distribute pads to other schools so the MHM needs of girls are taken care of and they can focus on learning.
Field activities came to a close in the last quarter of 2014 after about 20 months of support to three districts in Southwest Uganda to plan and implement WASH activities, bolstered by USAID WASH grants. In addition to direct technical support to the districts, WASHplus worked closely with USAID implementing partners including Community Connector, SPRING, STAR-SW, FANTA, and others to integrate aspects of safe and sufficient water, sanitation, handwashing, food hygiene, and MHM into HIV care and support as well as Feed the Future/nutrition activities.
WASHplus worked intensively this quarter with districts to complete revisions of capacity building materials used and improved throughout the almost two years of WASHplus assistance, and to complete a series of job aids to support outreach workers and clinical counselors to integrate WASH into their home-based and clinical practice. The job aids are available in two local languages, Rukiga and Rufumbira. Limited runs of materials were printed and distributed to development partners, while districts will use their USAID grant money to duplicate and disseminate materials. All materials are available on the WASHplus website on the Uganda page.
USAID grants were managed through the USAID Strengthening Decentralization for Sustainability project, with specialized technical assistance offered by WASHplus in areas including:
- Facilitating CLTS
- Making Schools WASH-Friendly (including appropriate hardware like rainwater harvesting for increasing water access and MHM to increase girls participation, attendance, and dignity)
- Forming and supporting community WASH management structures such as water management committees to address O&M
- Producing WASH tools and materials for behavior change, promotion, and negotiation
Districts and USAID implementing partners participated in the WASHplus closing event in December 2014, “Working with Districts to Improve Water and Sanitation to Improve the Health and Resilience in Southwest Uganda: Success, Opportunities, Challenges, and Lessons Learned.” The event celebrated accomplishments such as the institutionalization of WASH behavior change approaches like small doable actions. Notable in Uganda was the application of the small doable action approach to food hygiene, in conjunction with SPRING and Community Connector, to address local challenges of keeping food safe; issues of water quantity and access (constructing various “do-it-yourself” rainwater catchment systems); HIV care and support in the home and clinic; and home sewn reusable menstrual pads for women and girls of all ages. An end of project review was prepared for the event and is available here.
Links to resources from the WASHplus activities in Uganda are provided below.
- Improving WASH Behaviors to Reduce Diarrhea and Improve the Health and Resilience of Children, Families Affected by HIV/AIDS, and Other Vulnerable Populations. WASHplus Uganda End of Project Review. November 2014.
- Integrating Safe Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene into HIV Programmes. A Training and Resource Pack for Uganda. November 2014.
- Integrating Safe Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene into Infant and Child Nutrition Programmes. A Training Resource Pack for Uganda. November 2014.
- Small Doable Actions for Improving Household Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Practices. Job Aids for Village Health Teams, Peer Educators, and their Supervisors. November 2014. Available in English and two local languages: Rufumbira and Rukiga.
WASHplus’ Jonathan Annis Presents at Fecal Sludge Management Three (FSM3) Conference
Jonathan Annis, Sanitation and Innovation Specialist, represented WASHplus at the biennial gathering of policy makers, practitioners, and academics focused on the emerging topic of fecal sludge management in Hanoi, Vietnam, January 19–22, 2015. Jonathan presented learning from WASHplus’s catalytic work on FSM in Madagascar and demonstrate how WASHplus resource partner, Practica Foundation, has taken the initiative forward in other contexts. His talk was presented along with three other papers at a 1.5 hour session focused on handling and transport technologies. See Jonathan’s presentation: The Efficacy of Low-cost Technologies to Improve Traditional Sludge Practices in Madagascar. Other presentations from the FSM3 Conference can be viewed here. Tweets and takeaways from Jonathan at FSM3 are below.
WASHplus’ SPLASH project in Zambia recently published a WASH-Friendly training guide geared toward educators, government officials, and communities that are interested in incorporating improved sanitation access, clean drinking water, and hand washing stations and materials to its students and teachers along with a complementary WASH curriculum and MHM. Though geared to the Zambian school context, much of the material is applicable to any low-resource school setting. Read the guide here.
WASHplus is undertaking a comprehensive assessment to better understand consumer needs and preferences as they relate to increasing the uptake of improved cookstoves (ICS) in Nepal, building on similar research conducted in Bangladesh. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, this study will draw from social marketing and social science to explore consumer perceptions of five promising ICS, potentially available for distribution in Nepal. The study incorporates two-month household trials of the improved stoves, semi-structured questionnaires, household stove and fuel usage monitoring (via iButton temperature sensing data loggers and kitchen performance tests), stove performance testing (via controlled cooking tests), and willingness to pay assessments. Study participants will participate in public demonstrations and discussions of all study stoves, and finally, stoves will be placed in a temporary “market stall” at an actual open marketplace, where reactions will be collected by interaction and discreet observation.
WASHplus, implemented by FHI 360, is conducting the assessment in partnership with Winrock International, and the Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC) in Nepal, with financial support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Regional Bureau for Asia and the Bureau for Global Health.
On January 8, WASHplus collaborated with the CORE Group Nutrition and Social and Behavior Change working groups to host a one-hour webinar on multi-sectoral approaches to improve child growth and development; with a focus on improving the community knowledge of practice and sharing efforts for early childhood development, nutrition and WASH integration.
The Clean, Fed & Nurtured community of practice explained why water, sanitation and hygiene, nutrition, and early childhood development should be integrated. During the webinar, WASHplus’ Renuka Bery discussed the evidence for integrating these three sectors – WASH, Nutrition and Early Childhood Development – and the evolution of the Clean, Fed & Nurtured community of practice.
The webinar slides and recording are available for download.