Sanitation in beira
After a prolonged period of void we continue our story about sanitation in Beira, Mozambique.
Next January everything will start happening in Inhamizua, the largest suburb of Beira. Beira is the second largest city in Mozambique. Despite of the fact that the municipality defined sanitation as its priority there is still a lot to do. For a city there are many people who do not possess a latrine and use the open field, the beach and other public places.
What is our approach? A program exists , named Frisian Urban Sanitation program (FUSP), working in 8 cities in Mozambique and aims to improve sanitation. This involves all aspects from the sanitation chain: from its collection, storage and transport as well as treatment and reuse.
Beira is the last city were the program started, begin of this year. Lessons learned from the other cities indicates that far more attention should be paid to the sustainability aspects. With everything you do the population-client should feel ownership. “ Sentir-se Dono”, as the Mozambicans use to say.
If you go to the house of a family probably you will find at least 2 mobile phones per persons, as well as credilec, that is a prepaid device for electricity. When you ask if you can see the toilet you will get an indifference response. “ It is over there” , in the furthest corner of the ‘quintal’, the family ground. What you mostly find is a hole with some twigs on top and one or two tires on top of it. Smelly, fly’s going in and out and a glance in the pit often shows that it is used as well as garbage bin.
You can see that there is some money to spend in the household, but a latrine is no priority. It is not fancy, something to be proud of. A cell phone is a gadget. It looks nice, your neighbor can appreciate it.
The idea was born that a toilet should be a gadget, with a nice shape and attractive color.
So what is the approach of this FUSP program, with a focus on sustainability? A large group of medical students in Beira are an essential part of the program. What are they doing? This will be told in the following episode.