Mrs MUDEGE BAZERA, 40, is a widow and the mother of 6 chidren. She lives in the village of Rukumizo, DRC, and works in the fields.
“The problems I encountered in previous years with water, hygiene and sanitation were related to the fact that I was using unhygienic equipment, for example to go get water from the spring, I would use dirty containers, without caps and I kept the water in a jerrycan without lid. I sometimes would pick up a dirty bag to cover my jerrycan and once I arrived at home, I would throw away the bag because I no longer had any use for it.
When it comes to hand washing, I did not really know when to wash my hands. I did not have a hygienic latrine in my plot, the children were defecating outside the house and that did not bother me. I did not see the link with diseases such as diarrhea, malaria, typhoid …. I thought it was normal for someone to get sick. “
How did things change?
“Things changed after a few awareness raising campaigns by Tearfund facilitators, group sessions or when they were visiting my home. I realised illnesses were a result of my family’s lack of good hygiene practices. When they showed us the pattern of disease transmission I realised that I was eating microbes! “
What has changed?