Hygienic practices are essential to prevent disease and stop water sources from becoming contaminated. However, without clean water, hygiene practices are not possible.

1.5 billion people globally do not have access to basic hygiene services.

As part of our projects, communities are trained in the importance of hygienic practices, in particular handwashing, to prevent diseases and contamination of clean water sources. We support a variety of hygiene practices and training including:

Handwashing & tippy tap construction

Handwashing has a great impact on our health that it should be done by everyone. Handwashing training involves a handwashing demonstration, the procedure on how to wash hands as well as training on the critical times to wash hands. A handwashing station with clean water and soap is used during the demo. 

Tippy taps are a low cost and effective way to set up handwashing facilities at home, construction demonstrations are included in our WASH training with schools and communities (see photo above).

Personal hygiene

We teach the importance of personal hygiene and what personal hygiene entails, which includes tooth brushing, body washing, face washing, hand washing, wearing clean clothes and sleeping on clean bedding.

Environmental and domestic hygiene

In most villages in developing countries the management of waste is given very low priority. Environmental hygiene involves creating awareness of the importance for proper disposal of waste and secondly how to establishing good environmental hygiene behaviour by using both a general waste pit for general waste and a compost pit for green waste.

Domestic hygiene involves homestead cleanliness which includes sweeping and keeping the houses clean.

Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM)
Menstrual Hygiene Management work is conducted in schools. We use the train the trainer approach to deliver menstrual health education and hygiene training in schools and expanding into the wider community, to girls, boys and their families. This raises awareness and breaks down taboos and discrimination against menstruating girls. Menstrual Hygiene Management enables girls to manage their menstrual cycle with dignity, which helps keep them in school with confidence, furthering their education and improving their life chances.

Understanding of safe water chain between collection and consumption

Drinking water may come out of a source or system in a pure state but if it is not handled and stored well in the home and when being collected it can easily become contaminated and the cause of sickness and diarrhoea. Water contamination can be prevented at each point in the water chain:

Water source: water source should be protected from animals and the area around the source kept clean.

Water collection: hands should not touch the water.

Water transport: use clean containers to transport the water.

Water storage: water should be stored in a clean container and kept covered, and a clean device such as a cup should be used to access the water.

Food hygiene

This refers to the management of food and the way it is handled, cooked and served as well as the way it is consumed and stored. 

Soap making

Soap making workshops are held in schools with the newly established health club, at Health Centres and with Self Help Groups we work with. During soap making workshops, we provide the initial soap ingredients and equipment needed. They are taught the skills to make soap, the soap is used in the schools/Health Centres and any excess soap is sold to the community at which point the profit is used to buy more soap ingredients. Therefore the soap making activity becomes a sustainable income generating activity. 

Training and awareness of disease

Water and environment play an essential role in the transmission of many communicable diseases and epidemics. Many diseases spread from person to person or faecal oral route contact. It happens when food or drinks are contaminated by flies. During training of this topic, an F diagram is used to help the participants discover and analyse how diarrheal diseases can be spread through human hygiene practices and the environment. Participants are taken through a number of ways of preventing disease transmission routes during training. Some of the ways to prevent disease transmission includes proper water treatment, proper use of latrines, always covering latrines, keeping food covered, serving food while hot and proper handwashing, amongst other things.