Lolita is one of the village where Nuyok operates in Lorikitae parish Lokopo sub county in Napak district, with a total of 41 households and was declared open-defecation free on 13th April, 2021 and still maintains its status. Longora John aged 35 is a head of household of 3 and has built a latrine and a tippy tap within the compound to make sure that handwashing is prioritized at critical times (before cooking, before feeding the child, after cleaning baby’s bottom and or after using the latrine. ‘’Before constructing the latrine and a handwashing, station/facility, we used to throw baby’s feces to the compound nearby bush and never washed hands with water and soap which increased our frequent visits to the clinic/health center,’’ we did not understand the benefits of using sanitation facilities’’. John elaborates.
The benefits of latrine and handwashing are now numerous, said John. “Firstly, we no longer go far to defecate, this has saved us much time to engage in other productive activities. Secondly, we have realized that after stopping open defecation, building latrines and handwashing facilities, washing hands with water and soap and adoption of sanitation and hygiene behaviors, the diseases like diarrhea, cholera, and dysentery have reduced drastically in our households and the community at large. ‘’Narrates John.’’
‘’Our health/medical bills’’ John said, ‘’have completely reduced/changed. Our children no longer fall sick more often. But most importantly, I feel empowered because I now own my own latrine, hand washing facility and I have understood the benefits of embracing WASH practices. He sees his children growing up healthier and happier and hence works harder to maintain his household’s sanitation status. When Nuyok phases out, we will use the knowledge we have received to maintain/construct broken down latrines or handwashing facilities, or even construct new ones when these are full.
It is a privilege that Nuyok had a hands on training with clusters where other community members from the nearby villages were also able to see for themselves how our village was able to achieve the open defecation free status. Hence I together with other cluster members and community members will continue supporting our neighbors so that they can also achieve the open defecation status. ‘’Said John.’’
I am so thankful to God that Nuyok program came with the WASH interventions, and I have not forgotten the sanitation and hygiene messages from the WASH front line workers. I pray that Nuyok continues with the same spirit of changing people’s lives with sanitation and hygiene messages. ‘’Concludes John.’’