Problem Addressed

GSB works to address water scarcity, water-borne diseases, sanitation issues including open defecation, and subsistence agriculture production for communities in Mozambique.

In many rural areas of Cabo Delgado (Northern Province of Mozambique) people do not have access to drinkable water, and use water from rivers, unprotected wells and rainwater. These sources are also used by animals and for bathing, washing clothes, and human waste. Open defecation is common. Cholera outbreak is common during the rainy season, and many people die in the villages during these period. Other water borne diseases such as scabies, tinea and diarrheas are also common.

In terms of agriculture, people commonly produce annual crops such as corn, sorghum, peanuts, cassava, sunflower and cotton. Some of these are for subsistence only and other for sale, but some community members end up starving in one part of the year. Vegetables are not used, and this means that people, especially children, can become malnourished. The lack of water sources for irrigation contributes for the lack of vegetable gardens in these areas.

Innovative Approach

The tube wells which GSB installs are produced and maintained locally, using a low-cost technology which is simple enough that its use can be verbally explained, in order to reach illiterate community members. The drilled tube wells, improved latrines and table top filters are also affordable and GSB can manage to ensure their maintenance as the spare parts are available locally.

Program Solution

This program focuses on: water sources for drinking and irrigation; the introduction of vegetables for food security and nutrition; the provision of drinkable water; and trainings on basics of personal and collective hygiene.

With the provision of drilled tube wells GSB is offering clean and secure water sources, which people can use for drinking purposes as well as for irrigation. GSB is also offering table top water filters to ensure that people can drink safe water. In these communities, many people are not literate which often leads to incorrect dosages of chlorine (commonly called “certeza”). People often say that is tastes “fun” and makes them feel stomach aches. The table top filters makes the water become clearer and this has a visual impact on people as well. With water to irrigate their small vegetable gardens, people can be able to diversify their diet, as well as address the food insecurity issue.

The trainings on water, sanitation and hygiene are important for the GSB program success as changing people’s behavior is a process and the trainings are important to create people’s awareness on this issue, as well as to get them involved in the change. The training sessions use people’s folklore and context (traditional dances and songs) to encourage them to change their behavior and see how they can improve their living conditions, how important proper healthcare is when someone is sick, and how important it is to wash one’s hands and use a latrine, among other issues.

Grupo de Saneamento de Bilibiza (GSB)

Contact Email: gsaneamento@gmail.com

Partners: Arrakis

Location:  Cabo Delgado,