On the blog

Friday, 27 April 2012

"We are proud of our latrine"

This is Mrs Nyirakazimana, a farmer who lives with her husband and seven children in Tshoko, North Kivu, DRC.

Here, Mrs Nyirakazimana speaks about the recent community-led total sanitation (CLTS) scheme she has been part of:

We live on a plot that does not belong to us. It belongs to a plantation, so we work every day in the owner’s fields to pay our rent. Before the CLTS training here, we did not understand the importance of building a latrine. I can say that my family, our neighbours and our community all lived amidst the stools and dirt, but we didn’t understand how it was affecting us. 

Today, all of my children know that each time they use the toilet, they must cover the latrine hole and leave it clean. I find that since me and my neighbour have built latrines our children are sick much less than before.

My husband and I make sure that our latrine is clean, both inside and outside. We are proud of our latrine.

This project helped me to discover that the family latrine is extremely important. My family continues to use all the information on hygiene that we learnt. Practically speaking, my children are healthier now than they’ve ever been.

We have benefited from training and awareness of hygiene issues. A number of months ago I built my toilet, and since our training I’ve poured ash inside the toilet hole to reduce odours. Before, the fields were so smelly because we used them openly as our toilet. But now, with new latrines and the use of ash, there are no more smells. I also know now that I should cover the hole so as to reduce the flies inside the latrine. All of my children wash their hands after using the toilet.

Our needs are many, but in priority I believe that clean water is very important for us. Another need is knowledge. My community and our neighbours need to be sensitised more and more so that we’ll grown in our knowledge and understanding of the importance of family latrines.