handing over certificate Sulfo Rwanda IndustriesOn Tuesday March 28, the residents of Mwili sector in Kayonza district  celebrated the closing of a six-month national Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) campaign, facilitated by Global Communities USAID Twiyubake in collaboration with Young Women's Christian Association of Rwanda (YWCA). Sulfo Rwanda Industries supported the campaign under its corporate social responsibility with a donation of water drums, soap bars and drinking water.

The event under the theme: Your health is your concern: Drinking safe water, hand washing for proper hygiene, and use adequate sanitation accommodated 1800 residents of Mwiri sector and hosted representatives from the Ministry of health (MOH), USAID, Kayonza district, Gahini and Mwiri sector, and partners implementing the USAID Community Health and Improved Nutrition (CHAIN) program in Kayonza district.

During the six-month WASH campaign, USAID Twiyubake implemented by YWCA in Kayonza district, provided WASH education messages to over 900 program households in the sectors of Mwiri, Kabare and Gahini in their saving groups and during home visits.

USAID Twiyibake beneficiaries entertained the event with dances, songs, a drama play and testimonies on the received WASH messages. Joseph Hashakimana, a program’s community based volunteer in charge of WASH in Mwiri sector provided a public hand washing demonstration. Sulfo Rwanda Industries distributed free drinking water to all participants.

In his speech to the participants, Jean Baptiste Rugira, Kayonza district WASH Officer, explained that 60 % of diseases in children under 5 years recorded in Kayonza district are a result of poor hygiene. Washing hands reduces already 47 % of microbial contamination and a clean toilet reduces further contaminations.

Jeanne d’Arc Nyirayambere, Senior Nutrition Advisor, USAID Twiyubake, Global Communities, encouraged parents to teach their children proper hygiene and raised the topic of stunting which is caused by chronic undernutrition as a result of poor hygiene and which delays cognitive development and lead to poor performance of children in school.

Bernard Bayasese, who represented the CHAIN partners working in Kayonza district, introduced activities of USAID funded WASH programs implemented by SNV Netherlands Development Organization, Society for Family Health (SFH), Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and African Evangelistic Enterprise (AEE). He also talked about the role of men in implementing good hygiene and sanitation practices at their homes and reminded that even malaria is a result of poor hygiene practices as stagnant water around houses is the most common breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Dirty water and poor sanitation is contributing to diarrhea in children which has a negative effect on both physical and cognitive child development. According to the DHS 2014-2015, 42 % of children in Kayonza district are stunted explained Alphonse Ngarambe, Kayonza district Director of Health. He introduced the community health clubs, a group composed of 50 to 100 people whose mission is to provide hygiene and sanitation education and mutual assistance in sanitation repair works. He encouraged each resident to join the club. He also informed that payment of the community health insurance is due starting in June and reminded the importance of mouth hygiene as decaying teeth are a result of poor hygiene.

Zaccharie Rubaravu, MOH representative in charge of the Community-Based Health Promotion Program (CBHPP) and the guest of honor expressed in the name of the Ministry of Health how grateful he is for the achieved work done during the campaign. He emphasized on a very critical topic which is stunting in children. In 2007, 47% of children in Rwanda were stunted, today the figure reduced to 37.9 % according to 2015/2016. Although the figures are decreasing, he explained that in 80% of the cases parents are responsible for stunting in their children as malnutrition is often a result of low hygiene. He called upon each parent to reflect about this.

“Today we are celebrating the closing of the WASH campaign, but water hygiene and sanitation education continues. To anyone who need support for latrine repair works, the first step is to join the community hygiene clubs, 50 to 100 people can help a lot to solve sanitation issues, if you still need assistance the CHAIN partners will assist with loans. The basic hygiene and sanitation issues need to be solved to reach further targets in development”, concluded Zaccharie Rubaravu.

At the closing of the event, Sulfo Rwanda Industries received a certificate of appreciation in recognition of their generous and compassionate support to the community for donating 200 l water drums, soap bars and drinking water. After the campaign, the water drums will be installed at five community-led early childhood development centers in the sectors of Mwiri, Kabale and Gahihini to promote best hygiene practices and healthy growing of young children.

Theodette Hashakimana, received a wash kit. She was representing one of the 20 households who received a free wash kit as a result of having best implemented the delivered WASH education messages at her household. The wash kits contain a handwashing container, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, basins, towels, jerry cans, water disinfectant and pesticides to promote best WASH practices in their neighborhood.

 Connect with Us  Facebook7Twitter7