CHIBWE, Mozambique, 24 May 2010 A circle of women dance to the beat of drums in the morning sun, a crowd of adults and children watching from under tall, leafy trees. After a lengthy roll of beats, the dancing stops and the circle opens to welcome visitors a group of water-and-sanitation experts.
In Chibwe village, located in Mozambiques north-western Tete province, open defecation is common. With only about 39 per cent of the countrys estimated 22 million people using improved sanitation facilities, diseases like diarrhoea and cholera are common.
Today, however, the village is implementing a new Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programme with the help of UNICEF and its partners. Through CLTS, Chibwe residents will spearhead their own sanitation activities and learn how to keep diseases at bay.
We realize this is worth it, said Alberto Saguate, a father of six from neighbouring Nhaussau village. Through the CLTS programme, his community built outhouses for more than 170 households in recent months. Our children are healthier, and we have not had cholera in this village since we built the toilets, he said.