How Time Flies: Project Malio approaches its halfway point!

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Azafady UK’s three-year sanitation and hygiene initiative, Project Malio, has recently reached its halfway point promoting sustained behavior change and latrine use in the coastal town of Fort Dauphin, southeast Madagascar. Using an adapted version of the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) methodology, Project Malio aims to eliminate – or at the very least significantly reduce – open defecation in Fort Dauphin by working with households, schools, communities and local government. Since the start of the project, over 1,780 people have been “triggered” (or motivated) to make community-wide sanitation changes, following their recognition that just one person openly defecating can put the entire community at risk of disease. In the first year of the project, the Malio team supported 261 vulnerable households across three of the town’s ten fokontany (neighbourhoods) to construct, use and maintain reinforced pit latrines. Now well into their second year implementing the project, the Malio team is repeating this process in an additional four fokontany whilst continuing support for last year’s participants. Alongside practical latrine construction support, Project Malio’s Community Liaison Officers, or CLOs, visit each of the latrine beneficiary households on a regular basis to provide a combination of group and one-to-one support, advice and encouragement, boosting participants’ ability and desire to continue to use and maintain their new latrines in the long-term.

Project Malio is being implemented by Azafady UK’s longstanding Malagasy partner, ONG Azafady, in conjunction with a number of local associations. With bags of enthusiasm but little in the way of project implementation skills, four local associations received nine trainings from experienced ONG Azafady staff throughout the project’s first year, ranging from transparent financial management and professional operating processes, to activity planning and monitoring and evaluation. Entering the second year of the project, two of the original four local associations are continuing to partner the project and receive training alongside three new partner associations. Through this programme, Azafady UK is working to build the capacity of local community groups to operate as professional implementing partners, with these associations now able to run sanitation-themed project activities within their own communities. One of the associations, for example, has assumed responsibility for a local public latrine which was previously closed. With support and mentoring from Project Malio’s experienced team, they are now successfully managing the latrine day-to-day, giving local residents access to clean, safe sanitation. The association has also agreed with the local authorities to link the public latrine to a local business unit, the rent from which will be used to subsidise the latrine’s larger maintenance costs, ensuring this much needed public facility can stay open at an affordable rate for the local community.

Educational school sessions to support these activities also kicked off in 2015, with interactive games, puppet shows and lessons for local students focusing on the benefits of latrine use, latrine maintenance, and hand washing with soap. Parents, school staff, and students at two participating schools developed their own latrine maintenance and management plans during the first year of the project which received approval by local government authorities. With plans in place to keep their school’s latrines useable once Project Malio ends, Azafady’s construction team have since supported these schools to make vital repairs to their latrines and have added hand washing facilities where there previously weren’t any. A further 11 public schools in Fort Dauphin are now following suit, with management and maintenance plans currently under development and triggering sessions being held for teachers to ensure their commitment to improving WASH in their schools.

The Malio Team is so far making good progress towards meeting the project’s objectives. With the establishment of monitoring committees among the local community, focus groups to discuss sanitation and hygiene issues with households not receiving latrine materials and support, and the dissemination of key WASH messages through a town-wide mass media campaign, we hope that no one in Fort Dauphin will miss out on Project Malio.

You can read more about Project Malio, including details of the achievements and lessons learned in year 1 here. Alternatively, take a look at Azafady UK's website or contact them directly.

 

Date: 15 December 2015
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