1. What is the National Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Irrigation Programme?
2. What is the objective of Ru-WatSIP?
3. What is WASH Policy?
4. How does Ru-WatSIP contribute to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)?
5. What is hygiene education?
6. What is sanitation?
7. What is the contribution of hygiene education to water and sanitation sector?
8. What are sanitation and hygiene benefits?
9. What happens when sanitation is improved?
10. What is sanitary latrine?
11. What is traditional pit latrine?
12. What is traditional vault latrine?
13. What is improved single pit latrine?
14. What are the serious diseases associated with poor sanitation?
15. What is participatory, community based “total hygiene”?
16. What is Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS)?
17. What can be done through practice of CLTS?
18. What are hygiene messages?
19. Why is this a difficult subject to address?
The national Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Irrigation Programme (Ru-WatSIP) is one of the six closely interlinked National Development Programmes of Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD)in Afghanistan. The national Ru-WatSIP was established to provide safe potable water and sanitation facilities as a basic need for all rural inhabitants of the country.Access to safe water and sanitation facilities, as well as education regarding hygiene, will, in turn, will result in a significant positive impact on the health situation in rural areas for all men, women and children.
The main objectives of the programme are:
• Improve access of the rural populations to 25 litres per capita per day (LPCD), from 27% to
50%of that goal in 2014, and 70% to 100% of that goal in 2016 and 2020 respectively, and
to improve the potable quality of drinking water based on World Health Organization (WHO)
• Make all villages/rural communities in the country 100% free and fully sanitized (universal,
sustainable coverage in water and sanitation) by 2020; reaching 50% and 70% of that goal
by 2014 and 2016, respectively, by empowering communities to:
» Improve existing traditional latrines to become safe, hygienic and ensure user privacy;
» Make new latrines as models of safe sanitation in households, schools and clinics;
» Undertake the safe disposal of solid and liquid wastes
• Provide hygiene education with appropriate, ongoing activities in schools, households and
communities for sustained behavior change and adoption of safe hygiene practices
• The participation of people from all levels as crucial for achieving the targets of Ru-WatSIP.
• Therefore,Ru-WatSIP places special emphasis on the female population.
The core of the Afghanistan National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) policy is to address water, sanitation and hygiene as an integrated issue; and the planning and implementing of all sector investment and initiatives accordingly.
The Afghanistan National Rural Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Policy 2010 presents a roadmap for improving the quality of life of people in rural areas by ensuring access to safe water and improved sanitation and promoting the adoption of hygienic practices at the personal, household and community level. To achieve the goal of universal sustainable coverage in water and sanitation, this policy is a long-term vision of 10 years, for 2010-2020. This is in line with the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS), which proposes to achieve the MDGs by 2020.
Hygiene education is concerned with promoting hygienic behavior, which largely related to daily routines such as collection, storage and use of water, washing hands and proper use of sanitary facilities. Hygiene education also refers to any activity which is designed to achieve learning related to cleanliness and safe water. It means achieving some relatively permanent change in an individual’s capability in relation to good hygiene.
Sanitation is the management of excreta. Human excreta are human bodily waste which is excreted from the body, such as urine and feces. Animal excreta can also affect sanitation.
Hygiene education is essential for promoting good hygiene and positive hygienic behaviors related to personal and domestic hygiene. Good hygiene is essential for maintaining good health same as sanitation and clean water and using clean water from the source to mouth is also very necessary. In order to achieve this objective of clean water from source to mouth, hygiene education and awareness is essential for the users to know how to collect clean water from the source, the transport, storage and use of water. Meanwhile, good hygiene play a big role in decreasing diarrheal prevalence as the clean water and good sanitation do.
Improving safe excreta disposal and safe hygiene practices has a great health impact. But
sanitation and hygiene is also more than health and environmental protection. Sanitation
brings additional benefits such as:
– Social benefits: dignity, conveniences, privacy, social prestige, security for women, and
increase school enrolment for girls.
– Job creation: construction of individual latrines
– Economic benefits: re-use of composted materials as fertilizer for agriculture/ soil dressing
Where improved sanitation is provided along with better hygiene behaviors, real health
– Low mortality or death due to diarrhea-34% reductions through improved sanitation, which
could be doubled if accompanies by hand washing with soap
– Better nutrition, reduced stunting and increased heights among children due to reduction
in diarrheal disease and a condition called tropical enteropathy
– Improved learning and retention among school children due to reduction in worms and
other sanitation related diseases
A sanitary latrine is one where excreta:
• does not contaminate the ground or surface water
• does not pollute the soil
• is not be accessible to flies, rodents or animals
• does not create bad odor or ugly appearance
• breaks contact between human and feces
Sanitary latrines can be provided by the community without any physical subsidy through
Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach using a series of social values including privacy, dignity
A single pit under-ground usually 1 meter deep or more without proper slab and ventilation pipe, smelling with access to flies
A traditional vault latrine is a vault over the ground cubic shape with different dimensions, open in the back to environment, access to flies, no vent pipe, if not cleaned flushed into side walk
Single pit 1 meter deep or more, with a concrete or squatting slab for easy washing/cleaning, with vent pipe, with or without lining of the pit, wire-mesh on the window for fly control.
Serious diseases associated with poor sanitation include acute respiratory diseases, acute bacterial infections such as Cholera, intestinal parasitic worms, typhoid fever and diarrhea, all of which can be permanently disabling or deadly. According to the new Afghanistan Mortality Survey (AMS) 2010, the leading causes of deaths to children under five are acute respiratory infections and other serious infections, each of which accounts for about one in five deaths in this age group. Acute respiratory infection (ARI) and diarrhea contribute 29.6 percent of causes of deaths among children under five.
The term “total hygiene” includes safe disposal of faeces by sanitation, hand-washing and home treatment of drinking water but may also include for example, improved food hygiene and safe disposal of refuse.
Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) as an approach and methodology has shown promise and success as a community mobilization and empowerment strategy for lasting behavior change at the community level by creating Open Defecation Free (ODF), and fully sanitized communities through collective local action, and without hardware subsidies to individual households in some parts of the country. The approach helps ensure all members of the concerned communities (children, women and men) do not only stop defecating in the open, but also use improved hygienic latrines capable of safely confining human excreta.
CLTS focuses of collective sanitation analysis, sudden behavior change, and making the village ODF at the end. At the heart of CLTS lies the recognition that merely providing toilets (using the traditional approach) does not guarantee their use, nor result in improved sanitation and hygiene. CLTS focuses on the behavioral change needed to ensure real and sustainable improvements- investing in community mobilization instead of hardware, and shifting the focus from toilet construction for individual households to the creation of ODF villages. By raising awareness that as long as even a minority continues to defecate in the open everyone is at risk of disease, CLTS triggers the community’s desire for change, propels them into action and encourages innovation, mutual support and appropriate local solutions, thus leading to greater ownership and sustainability.
Hygiene information, education and communication and awareness programs need to be developed in line with the construction of water and sanitation projects and should be targeted at all levels.
In Afghan society, cultural practices, religious beliefs and social myths make it very difficult for both men and women to talk about sanitation issues. Discussions about latrines, toilets and personal hygiene are often avoided because they make people uncomfortable or even ashamed. Many people see latrines and toilets, as well as conversations about such, as filthy. Through education, and by strengthening the links with environmental and economic sustainability and improved health for everyone, including children, the culture of silence and discomfort around these issues can be broken to engage in meaningful dialogue and action.