Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Niger

March 12, 2014 • Niger
Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Rural Niger
These local men and Samaritan's Purse staff work together to build a latrine.

After receiving instruction from Samaritan’s Purse, a man decided to build a latrine that has greatly improved his family’s life.

Ibrahim Saibou is the water, sanitation, and hygiene project supervisor in the Samaritan’s Purse Niger office.

Building latrines and training local masons in latrine construction is one of the many activities of the Samaritan’s Purse water, sanitation, and hygiene project.

The WASH project as a whole serves to provide clean water, sanitation, and hygiene to rural populations in Niger through constructing and rehabilitating wells and boreholes; training water point committees; establishing model homes, which include latrines; training local masons in latrine construction; and educating women’s groups and children in hygiene and sanitation education.

Samaritan’s Purse Niger has multiple evangelists in the area who are actively sharing the Gospel with project beneficiaries. The following is an exchange I had with project beneficiary Hamissou Hamidou.

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Rural Niger

Latrines like this newly built one can change lives for people who live in rural areas.

Ibrahim: Good Morning, Mr. Hamissou.

Hamissou: Good Morning.

Ibrahim: I would like to ask you a few questions about your household’s daily life since you have received a latrine.

Hamissou: It is something that has truly touched my heart, and I am happy to have this occasion to express my feelings. Last year, I experienced two bad things. When I got married, my wife was young, and during the dry season, there was nowhere to relieve ourselves nearby. We were obligated to wait until the night when it was dark so that I could accompany my wife to the field to relieve herself. This bothered me, but I did not have a choice. We had to walk far with all of the risks that this brought.

Ibrahim: How far did you have to walk day and night to get to the area where you relieved yourselves?

Hamissou: It took around 30 minutes to walk to the place where we went during the day and about 10 minutes to walk to the place where we went during the night.

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Rural Niger

Samaritan’s Purse provides instruction about hygiene and sanitation, emphasizing the importance of using latrines.

Ibrahim: What was it that pushed you to build a latrine?

Hamissou: It was definitely due to the two bad experiences that I went through. At the moment when my wife fell sick, I did not know what to do. It got to the point where she could not even stand up. This combined with the hygiene and sanitation education that Samaritan’s Purse was conducting and the low cost of the latrine construction, contrary to what I thought, convinced me to build a latrine.

Ibrahim: What changes has this latrine made in your daily lives?

Hamissou: The latrine has brought my family privacy as well as cleanliness and a sense of well-being.

Ibrahim: Are you satisfied with your latrine? What message do you have for Samaritan’s Purse?

Hamissou: I am honestly very satisfied, and I infinitely thank Samaritan’s Purse. It is like the saying in Hausa that goes, “It’s he who loves you that gives you advice.” Samaritan’s Purse loves us, and that is why they have taught us many things about hygiene as well as repaired our borehole that had not worked for over a year.

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Rural Niger

Latrine construction is fairly cheap, making it accessible even for people who have very little.

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