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Contributions of Village WASH Committee in breaking the cycle of unhygienic behaviours in rural Bangladesh

This paper summarizes the experience of BRAC-WASH Programme in hygiene promotion through setting up village WASH Committees (VWCs) in each village and their contributions in changing unhygienic behaviours/practices. Considering the greater impact, hygiene promotion has been recognised as the “backbone” of the WASH programme seeking to ensure equal (bottom-up) participation to achieve the following:

  • breaking the contamination cycle of unsanitary latrines
  • eliminate the use of contaminated water, and
  • prevent unsafe hygiene behaviours.

It has been observed that the VWCs have been playing a pivotal role in improving the overall WASH situation in their respective villages. In order to achieve the above objectives, key hygiene messages are being disseminated under the auspices of VWCs through community cluster meetings. The main emphasis of this approach is to focus on changing people’s hygiene behaviour by strengthening existing “good” behaviour and changing unhygienic behaviour, to ensure that all aspects that contribute to healthy hygiene behaviours are being addressed and applied on the three key aspects: knowledge (“knowing”), practices (“doing”) and attitudes (“feeling”). The results to date indicate that VWCs are the key drivers in ensuring a positive outcome of the WASH programme by driving out unsafe hygiene behaviours within a community through a collective concerted effort.

TitleContributions of Village WASH Committee in breaking the cycle of unhygienic behaviours in rural Bangladesh
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsKabir, B., Kanti Barua, M., Karim, R., Bodiuzzaman, Rahman, M., Mia, H.A.
Pagination9 p.; ill.; boxes
Date Published2010-02-01
PublisherIRC
Place PublishedDhaka, Bangladesh
Keywordsbangladesh, behaviour, hygiene, personal hygiene, sdiasi, sdicom, sdihyg
Abstract

This paper summarizes the experience of BRAC-WASH Programme in hygiene promotion through setting up village WASH Committees (VWCs) in each village and their contributions in changing unhygienic behaviours/practices. Considering the greater impact, hygiene promotion has been recognised as the “backbone” of the WASH programme seeking to ensure equal (bottom-up) participation to achieve the following:

  • breaking the contamination cycle of unsanitary latrines
  • eliminate the use of contaminated water, and
  • prevent unsafe hygiene behaviours.

It has been observed that the VWCs have been playing a pivotal role in improving the overall WASH situation in their respective villages. In order to achieve the above objectives, key hygiene messages are being disseminated under the auspices of VWCs through community cluster meetings. The main emphasis of this approach is to focus on changing people’s hygiene behaviour by strengthening existing “good” behaviour and changing unhygienic behaviour, to ensure that all aspects that contribute to healthy hygiene behaviours are being addressed and applied on the three key aspects: knowledge (“knowing”), practices (“doing”) and attitudes (“feeling”). The results to date indicate that VWCs are the key drivers in ensuring a positive outcome of the WASH programme by driving out unsafe hygiene behaviours within a community through a collective concerted effort.

NotesPaper written for the South Asia Hygiene practioners’ workshop, 1 – 4 February 2010, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Custom 170, 812

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