Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene

Background

Worldwide, 780 million people do not have access to an improved water source, and more than 35% of the world's population lack access to improved sanitation. MCDI works to improve water, sanitation and hygiene conditions in several countries. Our programs work to improve access to water, sanitation facilities and improve hygiene amongst populations through behavior change communication activities.


MCDI's current major water, sanitation and hygiene projects include the Improved Access and Hygiene Practices in Rural Areas (PAPHyR) project in Benin and the Fond d'Appui pour l'Assainissement (FAA) project in Madagascar, both funded by the Global Sanitation Fund.


Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS)

MCDI is a global leader in designing and implementing CLTS as a core component of our WASH programs. CLTS mobilizes communities to completely and sustainably eradicate open defecation through a multi-step process of "triggering," ultimately leading to the self-abandonment of open defecation practices. This process empowers primarily rural communities to take control of their sanitation and hygiene practices. The goal of our CLTS projects is to achieve Open Defecation Free (ODF) status in all of the communities MCDI works with.


MCDI's CLTS programs do not include subsidies for hardware, nor do they build toilets for villagers. Instead, MCDI builds the capacity of the private sector in promoting and providing sanitation products and services, including in promoting alternative financing mechanisms to support private building of sanitation infrastructure. This ensures that communities take ownership of their sanitation facilities and are responsible for taking the lead in improving sanitation.


In Madagascar, the GSF Program is one of the leading programs in the WASH sector, has become an important catalyst for the initiation and creation of a national, regional and local movement to eliminate open defecation, and is a driving force in the development of a national roadmap to reach an ODF Madagascar by 2018. Under the leadership of MCDI, evidence has suggested that progress made by the FAA Program in Madagascar has been greater than in any other GSF countries, and the program is the most advanced in the GSF portfolio in terms of strengthening institutional linkages, the development of leaders and the promotion of local innovation.


The PAPHyR program in Benin, based on the model of success achieved through the FAA program in Madagascar, is designed to benefit over 1.9 million rural residents in approximately 8,200 locations throughout the country.


Behavior change interventions

In addition to CLTS, other behavior change interventions to improve community sanitation and hygiene practices include Information-Education-Communication (IEC), behavior change communication (BCC) campaigns and school hygiene promotion. MCDI has developed educational materials for hygiene and sanitation promotion in primary schools, supporting the government of Benin in implementing a comprehensive school health program.


In hygiene promotion activities, MCDI uses Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (PHAST) tools. PHAST tools are based on the concept that as communities gain awareness of their water, sanitation and hygiene situation through participatory activities, they are empowered to develop and carry out their own plans to improve this situation. Community members are central participants in the planning process for the prevention of sanitation-related diseases.


Supplying water and improving sanitation

MCDI has worked to provide drinking water and sanitation infrastructure to rural communities. In collaboration with other organizations, MCDI has worked to install pumps and plan construction activities, taking the lead for logistical support and identifying eligible locations for construction.


MCDI has provided sanitary infrastructure to primary schools in Benin, and in Madagascar MCDI collected requests for improved latrines. In Mali, MCDI has constructed wells, pumps and latrines in the northern region of the country.


Wherever MCDI provides water facilities, health and hygiene promotion activities follow, including training villagers on how to manage their new facilities.


Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Emergency Response

In response to severe flooding in Myanmar that started in July of 2015, MCDI in collaboration with the Myanmar Red Cross Society in providing small-scale support to purchase and distribute shared water purification equipment to flood-affected families, each unit providing purified drinking water for up to 10 households. These high-volume, point-of-use community water purifiers ensured 1,200 people had safe drinking water.