Welcome to Baaka!
This beautiful community full of life and vegetation has more than 1,700 people. With only 26% latrine coverage, which results in a high rate of open defecation, Baaka noticed a high amount of diarrhea related illnesses in their children. In fact, according to WHO, diarrhea is the second leading cause of death of children younger than five in Africa, and 88% of these deaths are due to unsafe water, poor sanitation and insufficient hygiene. So, once the community united to evaluate their problems they collectively decided to improve the health and wellbeing by building latrines and handwashing stations. Scroll to see Baaka’s unity and the construction process so far.
Through a voting process the entire community is involved in the decision and future development of their village. Baaka unites to work together towards one goal – to improve the sanitation and hygiene challenges in the community.
Baaka is constructing a total of 30 latrine structures around the village, and increasing latrine access from 26% to 100%. John the head construction worker is ready and up to the task.
To begin the construction process, there must be a collection of materials. This phase of the work is primarily done by women. Here a woman is carrying water to the site so the construction workers are able to begin the day’s work.
After digging the holes for the latrine pits, it is time to start construction of the facilities. To begin this process, workers start by stacking bricks and cementing them together using mud.
Day after day the work continues. Not only will this project create an increase in latrine coverage and a decrease diarrhea related diseases but there will also be an increased culture of building latrines, improved handwashing, and hygienic practices across the community.
However, like all projects, there are always setbacks. John, the lead construction worker, is assessing a latrine strucuture that was damaged after a night of heavy rains. He decided in order to create the best structure they would have to start this one over again.
So, they begin again. Teaming up with local trained workers and including volunteers from the community increases the dedication and involvement of the whole community.
Community Action Group members, volunteers trained by OneVillage Partners, spend a lot of time monitoring the construction and reigniting the flame and passion for the project in community members so that the work continues progressing.
Community Action Group volunteer, Korojoe Musa said, “OneVillage Partners is that organization that guides communities to light a small candle in a long existing darkness. This candle is helping us to define our challenges and provide solutions that are locally driven.”
This construction process is an opportunity for community members to come together and work on a unified project. Through hard work there is a growing sense of ownership, and it continues to be a source of pride for the community even after the completion. This pride motivates community members to keep up the maintenance and increase the sustainability.
After the structures’ walls are completed, they will strengthen them using plaster and finish by adding the doors.
As the latrines continue to be completed, the community continues to unite and work together to reduce prevantable diseases in their community. Bendu, a community member, observed a more united community since the enterence of OneVillage Partners. “Before, the town youth and elders did not consult one another or work together. They were always fighting. I am happy to now see them work cohesively.”