In our Togo Safe Water project, each village where we rehabilitate a borehole sets up a designated Mother Club. These clubs are made up of women from the village who are committed to maintaining their water point, learning about good sanitation and hygiene practices and spreading this information within their communities, amongst other activities.
Last month our team visited a Mother Club who live in a remote village, 20 miles away from the nearest town. They meet regularly, wearing their chosen club colour of green, to take part in their WASH training.
As many members of the group cannot read or write, the laminated picture cards used in workshops make learning accessible and easily understood. Their village has had four sessions of WASH training so far as part of the extensive programme being implemented in this project.
In their first sessions, the Mother Club learned that the river water they were drinking before their borehole was repaired was unsafe, containing bacteria which was causing diseases in children, older people and pregnant women.
They have now begun their second module promoting hygiene in the home. In this session they are learning about hand washing, collecting and storing water safely and how to keep water containers clean using disinfectant.
They have also been learning how to work together with the other members of the Mother Club to take care of their water source and keep the village clean, including the area around the borehole.
The women are happy about the education they have received from the WASH programme so far and have already noticed that the illness in their families is reduced.
“Since we stopped using river water, the illness is reduced, my family have good health now since the borehole was repaired” – Ista
“Since we use the borehole, the clean water, the people in the village have less disease, there are fewer people in the village who are ill now” – Abouli, secretary of the Mother Club
“We all work together now to make our village clean” – Ado
The women all agree that now they have a clean water source in their village and no longer need to walk to the river every day, they have more time to do household work, family activities, working and for going to Mother Club meetings.