Sharing knowledge to stay safe from water-borne disease

Abshiro leads hygiene awareness campaigns. Photo: NAPAD.

Somalia | 2023 | CBPF

Somalia, Dollow. Mama Fatuma Gurham is a vendor in the marketplace in Dollow. Recently, she and other vendors were visited by women from the community who shared information on how to prevent water-borne disease and to keep themselves, customers, and families safe from illness.

“This information was very useful,” says Mama Fatuma.

After extensive flooding in the 2023 Deyr rainy seasons – October-December last year, water infrastructure in many affected areas of Somalia has been destroyed, and even the wells that still worked have been contaminated.

With the water infrastructure damaged or destroyed, many people displaced by the floods also lack access to safe water.

With funding from the Somalia Humanitarian Fund, Somali organization Nomadic Assistance for Peace and Development (NAPAD) has trained thirty community hygiene promoters in Qurdubey, Busle, Garbolow, and in the Dollow Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) sites, including those at Ladan, Kaharey, Kabasa, and Qansaxlay.

The trainers learn how to reduce the risk and transmission of watery diseases like cholera, for example by promoting hygiene and hand washing, spreading the word on safe treatment and storage of household water, and improving latrine maintenance.

The Community Health Promoters conducted door-to-door hygiene promotion for a month. And they continue to run information sessions in community locations like the marketplaces and tea shops.

They use posters and easy-to-remember, engaging messages to convey important hygiene information. These methods communicate vital messages about sanitation, handwashing, water safety, insect control, and flood preparedness.

For their work, the health promoters receive a monthly stipend.

Abshiro Hassan Bashir, the leader of CHPS in Kabasa displacement camp, noted that, “We are educating people in different settings about proper hygiene and sanitation, and emphasizing the importance of positive behavior change to enhance hygiene practices.”

Together, they have reached over 1,000 people with this critical information.

For more information: visit the Somalia Humanitarian Fund web site, and find real-time contribution and allocation data on the POOLED FUNDS DATA HUB.