Nyetane community, Mpolonjeni chiefdom, Lubombo region, Swaziland
Nyetane is a small community located in the rural reaches of Mpolonjeni chiefdom. There are approximately 750 residents in the area spread over 120 homesteads.
There are two small shops, a high school, a primary school, a preschool, and a Neighborhood Care Point (NCP). Some parts of Nyetane have water taps supplied by Swaziland Water Corporation, while some residents walk to nearby dams or lakes to retrieve their water.
The majority of homes in Nyetane rely on subsistence farming, including maize, cotton, and small vegetable patches. It is estimated that two-thirds of the adults in Nyetane are unemployed, and 185 children in the area are known to be orphaned or vulnerable children.
The Kingdom of Swaziland currently has the highest HIV prevalence rate worldwide at 31% (for men and women aged 18-49). Engaging the next generation is seen as an important factor for decreasing that rate, and operating a Neighborhood Care Point (NCP) is one method of early intervention.
Research indicates that high HIV rates are often correlated with populations faced with poverty and low education. NCPs enable young children who are orphaned or vulnerable to receive one protein-rich meal each day and also benefit from some early educational instruction (such as story time with preschool-level books, singing ABCs, or practicing colors and shapes).
Preparing children to succeed at school, both by bolstering their nutrition and preparing them for Grade 1, is important. NCPs can help prepare students to fare better in school, creating improved opportunities for the student and their family to escape poverty through employment.
Nyetane Neighborhood Care Point (NCP) serves approximately 35 orphaned or vulnerable children every weekday, providing a safe space to play and learn and a protein-rich meal.
The NCP has been in existence for six years, and five adults are regularly involved in cooking, cleaning, and providing services for the children who come. Nyetane NCP also provides a community meeting space when poor weather prevents outdoor meetings and even serves as a camping ground for a local football club called Boyz to Men.
Unfortunately, this busy community center was not provided with a toilet when it was built, and no community funds have been made available to build one. This means that at least 40 community individuals each week relieve themselves in the grass surrounding the NCP, contributing to an unhygienic environment.
This project is to construct pit latrines at the site to fix sanitation problems for children and adults using the center. In addition, a ‘tippy tap’ hand washing station will be provided.
One structure with 2 stalls, each containing one toilet, will be built. The pit has already been dug using community tools and has a foundation of bricks built into the ground, creating a foundation about 15 cm above ground level. There will be a platform made of cement, including two holes for the toilets that will rest on the foundation and cover the hole.
The pit latrine building will be 2.5 meters long, 1.25 meters deep, and 2.5 meters high. The door frames will be 2 meters and 37 centimeters, so there will be sufficient wall to support the door.
The walls will be built of cement bricks made by the community members. The community members have already started making the bricks and are producing bricks of exceptional quality and sturdiness (although they will need the project funds to purchase enough supplies to finish this effort). The brick foundation will allow the cement slab to be raised approximately 15 centimeters above the ground.
Two plastic toilet seats will be provided by the community and installed by the builder. This will allow the toilet to be closed when not in use, helping to limit the number of flies.
The roof will be made of sheet metal over wooden rafters. The builder will ensure the wood is cut to specification, and the sheet metal will be purchased cut to the right length. The toilet will be ventilated with a ventilation pipe purchased through the project funds. The pipe will enter the pit from a hole set behind the pit latrine and will extend into the air (approximately 2.25 meters).
The community will be responsible for maintenance and care of the toilet once the project is completed. Mrs. Ndzinisa and Mrs. Gwebu, as leaders of the Neighborhood Care Point, have headed the project committee and will continue to provide leadership as maintenance is needed. They will be responsible for maintaining the toilet on a daily basis and for mobilizing community members to volunteer for occasional maintenance.
It is estimated that the toilet will serve the community for approximately 10 or more years before a new pit will need to be dug. To make the pit last even longer, the community may purchase a product that increases the rate of decomposition of waste matter. The community understands that care of the toilet will remain their responsibility once the project is completed.
The adult leaders of the NCP will oversee all construction and ensure the project is completed within one month of receiving funds. Maggie Gwebu and Victoria Ndzinisa will be the project managers, while Mfanasibili Tsabedze will be in charge of actual construction. David Tfwala will transport the materials.
The community will donate the land for the toilets, partial labor, partial transportation of materials, and eventually will build new fencing to incorporate the toilet into the yard of the NCP.
Water Charity funds will be used to purchase the materials needed for the pit latrines, transport to go to and from Siteki (a nearby town), and miscellaneous coordination expenses.
This project will benefit 80 people, comprised of 35 children who eat at NCP each day, plus 4 women and 1 man who regularly cook for them, plus 40 community members using the site on occasion.
Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
This is an important infrastructure project for the facility that will improve the health and wellbeing of the children, staff, and community at large.
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Donations Collected to Date
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Donations of any amount will be appreciated. The full amount will give you “naming rights”, if that is something you would like.
Any contributions in excess of the Dollar Amount of Project will be allocated to other projects directed by this PCV and/or projects of other PCVs in this country.
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This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.