The Red Cross in Tanzania has been working to improve hygiene and sanitation practices among the Maasai community. According to Nathan Vincent of the Red Cross, communities in the interior of the country often have little understanding of the causes of diarrheal diseases. In order to educate the population, they have organized sub-village meetings in which they showed The Story of Cholera (Swahili version) and provided additional information on better hygiene practices. The campaign also included door-to-door visits by local hygiene promoters that used posters and other educational materials.
Nathan said, “The community really understood the key messages and were overwhelmed by the video and some of CLTS [community-led total sanitation] techniques used.” He went on the explain however, that open defecation is a challenging problem in the Simanjiro District (northern Tanzania) because it is a semi-arid area and the Maasai have a nomadic lifestyle, particularly during the drier seasons of the year. “Despite these challenges we are seeing some differences and the outlook is good.”
Source: Information and photos provided by Nathan Vincent, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Unit, Tanzania Red Cross.