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Better sanitation, healthier villages in Democratic Republic of Congo

water-blogNational member HPP-Congo has been working with 13 health districts in the Katanga region of south-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo since 2014 to expand potable water supply and sanitation and hygiene facilities for 12,000 households. The project's principal financier is USAID, with additional support from Fundación Pueblo para Pueblo and other Humana national members. Over the last 10 years, repeated outbreaks of cholera have affected the Kasenga region, and one in every five children under the age of 5 suffers from persistent diarrhea across the country. The Community Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (CWASH) initiative is based on a combination of awareness and educational activities for community members, and practical support and input to improve existing community infrastructures. At the end of 2016, over 30 new water points had been constructed and 37 out-of-use water points had been rehabilitated. Furthermore, basic toilets had been installed in over 12,000 households and 22 schools. To ensure that people use these new facilities and improve community health, 55 teachers have been trained in hygiene education and 77 water committees have been set up to manage the new and existing water points. Project staff has also been carrying out village clean-up-days and awareness-raising activities to encourage healthy habits. By the end of the project in mid-2017, it is expected that 120 villages will have achieved the Healthy Village certification, awarded by the government to recognize fundamental health and sanitation improvements, such as clean water sources, proper latrines and basic hand-washing facilities.

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