Watsan Activities for the Hepatitis E Emergency Response Project
By mid-November, the Bucket Chlorination program, to help stop the spread of Hepatitis E, became full scale in the city of Am Timan. With chlorination coverage at 72 water points, we were chlorinating 3,901,000 L/week. Since then, the volume of chlorinated water collected has risen by 27% to 5,357,000 L/week, providing clean water to an estimated 10,000 people per day.
Throughout November we experienced difficulties with people accepting chlorinated water because of religious reasons, with refusal rates reaching 20% for the entire bucket chlorination program. After speaking with senior religious leaders and with the support of the hygiene promotion team, we have been able to reduce refusal rates to 3% at all our water points.
We are also chlorinating the two water towers that supply about 8,000,000 L/week. In total (both water systems and the bucket chlorination program), we are chlorinating on average 13.4 million liters of water per week!
The two jetted wells in the wadis (river) have now become one of the highest chlorinated water points in our program! Since the beginning of November, the amount of water supplied by the jetted wells rose by 95% from 20,000 L/week to 400,000 L/week. These wells not only supply the neighborhood of Ganatir with safe drinking water but also a village on the other side of wadis.
This week I met with 67 water point property owners to discuss how they could improve the quality of water from their water points.
About a month ago, I was touring water points with a watsan supervisor when the driver asked if MSF would help improve/repair wells in Am Timan. Together, we discussed how each water point had unique improvement opportunities and it would difficult for MSF to manage such a diverse and large project.
From the distribution, I knew we had a surplus stock of jerry cans and thought it would be a great idea if we could motivate the property owners to improve their own respective water point. Thus, the Water Point Incentive Program was born!
The idea was that the property owners would be responsible to improve their own respective water point within the next four weeks. In return, MSF would give them ten 20L jerry cans. Sixty-seven of the seventy water points in the bucket chlorination program opted to be a part of this initiative.
This week I visited those water points, met with the property owners and signed contracts. About half of the property owners had already started their improvements and about a dozen water points have completed improvements.
Public Water Point before Improvement: Very muddy and slippery conditions
Water Point after Improvements: Canal and hole dug to collect water, and sand deposited to soak up standing water