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The Msunduza Dry Sanitation Project 2007-2013
The project is implemented in Msunduza, which is a peri-urban area in Mbabane, the capital of Swaziland. The project aims to improve the sanitation hygiene of the area by building adequate toilets and by providing education on sanitation and environmental health. The project is implemented in cooperation with Turku University of Applied Sciences, which has been working in the area since 2004, and is funded by Ministry for foreign affairs of Finland. The project is currently in its third and final phase.
Project areaMsunduza is the oldest and partially informal township in Mbabane. The township of about 16 000 people is located close to the city centre on steep hills. The main features of the area are very steep topography, inadequate infrastructure and petty road network. The project is focusing on the poorest communities of Msunduza, where sanitation facilities are scarce and often in poor condition. The project implementation in Msunduza is done in collaboration with the Salvation Army of Swaziland and the Sanitation Experts, who are local volunteers trained to educate the communities of Msunduza. During the project, cooperation with the City Council of Mbabane, the local leaders of Msunduza and the University of Swaziland has been emphasized as well. In the unofficial areas of Msunduza, water and sewage systems are lacking and the waste management services are largely inadequate. Hence, the sanitation solutions are diverse as people use pit latrines, buckets or even plastic bags. In some areas wastewater from the water closets is piped into septic tanks, which flood in to the yards and streets, when emptying the tanks fails. With children playing in the polluted streets and due to the lacking awareness on environmental health, cholera and other diarrhoeal diseases prevail.
Project objectivesThe aim of the project is to improve the poor sanitation and sanitation hygiene of the area. The project activities include e.g. building of dry toilets, disseminating information on safe sanitation and increasing awareness on the linkage between hygiene and health. In the long run, the aim is to increase composting, home gardening and, furthermore, to improve the food security of households through provision of composted material from the dry toilets as a fertilizer in home gardens. Improvement of hygiene and food security is essential in Swaziland, where 26 % of the people are HIV infected. The Swazi culture is also very traditional and male-dominated, thus the project also aims to improve the position of women and children in the community through environmental and hygiene education. Ministry for foreign affairs of Finland.