The importance of awareness activities in the promotion of Aquatabs in rural areas
In its intervention areas, USAID WA-WASH contributed to improve the living conditions of many people through the promotion of Aquatabs (a drinking water treatment product). In Niger, the particularity of many villages like Djigaré, Koutoukalé Koiré-Zéno, Koutoukalé, Koire-Tégui, Zama Koire Tégui, and Zama Koire Zeno is that they are located along the Niger River which is the drinking water source for these communities.
To convince people of the usefulness of Aquatabs and to facilitate its availability, through ANIMAS-SUTURA, USAID WA-WASH trained and deployed community volunteers in these villages. More than 18 months after the completion of the program in Niger, community volunteers are still conducting Aquatabs promotion and sale activities within their communities during community ceremonies such as weddings, child naming, and women association activities.
The promotion activities and the advantages of treating water at home are encouraging people to use Aquatabs continuously. In addition to community radio messages, community volunteers are also conducting door-to-door promotions to sensitize people on the importance of sanitation, hand washing, and water treatment. For many women living in the villages located along the Niger river, Aquatabs use contributed to making the members of their household less prone to water-borne diseases. In the past, many people were suffering from diseases like cholera.
The awareness activities supported by USAID WA-WASH contributed to a positive behavior change within the villages. According to Mr. Kadi Koda Ismaël, nurse in Koutoukale Koire Tegui in the municipality of Karma: “Since villagers have been using Auqatabs, we have not had any case of cholera in our health district. This was not the case before we introduced Aquatabs.” The same thing has been reported by a number of other people including Ms. Aissa Moukeila from the village of Djigare.
In Niger, the promotion of Aquatabs activities supported by USAID WA-WASH during its Phase I allowed the sale of 5.091 million Aquatabs that were used to treat over 101 million liters of drinking water.
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