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For Us by Us: Embracing collective responsibility to address sanitation and hygiene gaps in Vihiga County.

Mildmay International Kenya (MIK) supports communities by encouraging meaningful involvement and community participation; it places communities at the core of their health outcomes. The vanguard is the Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) who play a crucial role in providing basic health services to their communities, including health education, disease prevention, and treatment; they equally bring essential services closer to the people especially those in rural and underserved areas.

CHVs constructing a pit latrine Kisaturu, Sabatia Ward

Community dialogue is a gathering that draws participants from as many segments of the community as possible to exchange information, share distinctive stories and experiences, share honest viewpoints, clarify positions and jointly develop solutions to identified community health concerns/issues. These discussions are organized by community leaders, healthcare workers and community health volunteers. These events are preceded by community action days which involve communities identifying a high-impact health-related activity in which they can all come together to participate.

MIK supported action days in Kisatiru, Mambai, Songolo and Chamakanga community units. The CHVs had identified 5 vulnerable households in their communities that were in dire need of pit latrines. They went ahead to mobilize resources amongst themselves and willing members of the community to put up the facilities. The community members did not only donate the construction materials but also took part in constructing all the 5 pit latrines. The thrilling harambee chants and songs as they dug the holes and mixed the mud mortar were priceless.

In West Sabatia Ward, Kisaturu Community Health Unit, the team was able to renovate a toilet for an aged widow. In Songolo village a family had lost 2 of its members due to diarrhoea which was suspected to be cholera related. As an organization, champion the responsible utilization of locally available resources to address local challenges for the sustainability of projects.

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