The community in Lologo locality, close to Juba, have built a community latrine, preventing the dangerous spread of disease through open defecation.
You know the feeling: wading through a crowded shopping centre, arms laden with bags, and suddenly you realise you must abandon the hunt for those perfect-fit jeans and begin the trek for the nearest loo! Or in the morning, you wake up desperate for a pee but your housemate has just stepped into the shower containing the only loo in the house.
Though it may be a slightly strenuous walk or an uncomfortable wait, and though there may be a queue or loo roll on the floor or your housemate has left the seat up again, eventually there is relief in the privacy of your own cubicle and all waste is washed tidily away.
For most people in South Sudan, if they are caught short whilst out and about, they are forced to go to the loo in the open. There are virtually no public latrines and even most households do not have their own loo, though they usually house families of 7 or more.
Around 75% of the population of South Sudan are forced to go to the loo in the open everyday (known as, open defecation); there is no privacy, women are put at risk of rape and child mortality rates are increased as disease seeps from faeces into water sources used for cooking, washing and drinking.
South Sudan is one of the worst countries in the world for open defecation and tackling it is one of the highest priorities of the Trumpeter Community Health Volunteers (left) in Juba, South Sudan. They visit households each week, to train families in the importance of drinking clean water, using latrines and washing their hands.
The Trumpeters have been delighted with the transformation they have seen in the community of Lologo, on the edge of Juba. Firstly the community decided to clear up a rubbish dump site as they recognised the damaging effect this was having on their health, and then one entrepreneurial trader decided to build a community latrine in its place, to provide a safe and hygienic place for people to go to the loo. He charges a small fee for use of the latrine to cover maintenance. “This act turned out to be very beneficial to the whole community and to the trader,” reports Tabitha Muthui, AID’s Fundraising and Communications Manager in South Sudan.
Give thanks for the work of the Trumpeter volunteers and pray on for improved health across Juba for the glory of God!