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Thursday, 1 February 2018

Fishermen Catching Knowledge on WASH

Fishermen Catching Knowledge on WASH

Hamadi fishermen village is a residential area located on the coast of Hamadi urban village, Jayapura city. Most people living here are fishermen. The case of diarrhea in this village is known to be quite high. Based on data from Puskesmas Hamadi in 2017, there were 226 cases of diarrhea in Hamadi urban village and most cases of diarrhea occurred in the fisherman’s village. The high number of diarrhea cases is caused by several factors, one of which is related to the behavior of people who still practice open defecation (OD) directly to the sea, without using latrines and septic tanks.

In response to the condition, USAID IUWASH PLUS in collaboration with KOTAKU program, the sanitarians from the Health Office and the contractor of Development of Strategic Settlement Areas (PKPS) Working Unit in Jayapura city conducted a participatory assessment and triggering activities to the community at RT 4/RW 9 in August 2017 and at RT 4/RW 3 in September 2017. These activities were part of the community participatory assessment activities aimed at getting people to understand the water supply and sanitation issues in their environment, recognize the hazards of OD behavior and the illnesses inflicted. The triggered community is expected to be able to take action to overcome those problems.

Through the participatory assessment activities, Hamadi fishermen’s village community gained a lot of knowledge, especially  related to safely managed water supply and sanitation. For example, the community learned how to develop WASH social map, a map that illustrates the condition of access to water supply and sanitation in the community environment. By using the WASH social map, it is expected that the community can assess the sanitation condition in their own houses. Through WASH social mapping, it was found that the entire community in RT 4/RW 5 Hamadi still practice OD directly to the sea.

Furthermore, the community also learned about the flow of disease transmission and how to break the transmission. The tool used to explain that flow is the F Diagram. Through the F Diagram, the community gained knowledge about the flow of germ transmission from fecal matter that is not managed safely which can contaminate food and bring illness to the family. Most of the people know that flies are only a germ-spreading medium. Through this triggering activity, they became aware that hands, water, air and soil can also be a germ-spreading medium for feces that is not managed safely.

The triggering activities were followed by the preparation of action plans by the community to address sanitation issues that emerged during the triggering process.

The triggering activities carried out in Hamadi fishermen village received a warm welcome from the residents of Hamadi village. “I am very grateful for this activity because all this time, the residents of RW 5 did not know that the hazard of disease can occur due to our OD practice at sea. We hope that in the future our environment can be healthier and more suitable for our children and grandchildren,” said Pak Musa Gedi, the chairperson of RW 5 Hamadi urban village.

Based on the results of the post-activity monitoring, the impact of the triggering activity has begun to show results. Gradually, the awareness of Hamadi fishermen’s village community towards the importance of hygiene behavior and safely managed water supply and sanitation has started to grow. For example, they have started regularly cleaning their villages and practice handwashing with soap. Currently, the community in fishermen’s village together with partners is also discussing the plan to develop communal latrines in the area supported by the local government.
(Muhammad Amri/USAID IUWASH PLUS SSEI)

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