Angola: Resilience and Nutrition Security
Malnutrition is usually related not only with bad eating habits, but also with insufficient hygiene and sanitation. PIN has large experience with community approach to sanitation (Community Led Total Sanitation – CLTS) specially in Bié province, where participatory activities helped many villages to become Open Defecation Free.
Improving access to drinking water for the people living in rural areas by repairing and setting up new water points is fundamental not only for initiatives addressing correct hygiene, but also for projects fighting against malnutrition.
Community led total sanitation / Promotion of hygiene in rural areas
The project is based on PIN previous experience on using simple participation methods to provide people with information and new skills and, at the same time, motivate communities to change their hygiene habits. The priority is continuing to improve local capacity for the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the CLTS – Community Led Total Sanitation programme.
This initiative focuses on encouraging a change in sanitation behaviour rather than constructing toilets. It is a zero subsidy approach that aims to motivate communities to improve their own sanitation situation through a process of social awakening that is stimulated by facilitators (social mobilizers) from within or outside the community.
Empowering provincial and municipal authorities is a priority in line with the objective of the Angolan Government – Ministry of Environment to disseminate CLTS and behaviour change towards improved hygiene and sanitation conditions of the Angolan population.
PIN works to consolidate and expand the experience of Nharea municipality, in Bié province, where CLTS programme was officially endorsed by the local administration and implemented with dedicated budget and human resources. PIN will assist other two municipalities and support the provincial commission responsible for the programme to plan, budget and oversee the execution of CLTS agenda in all the municipalities of the province.
The project is also focused on fomenting ODF (open defecation free) communities to move further in the improvement of their hygiene and sanitation conditions. This is done through an incentive system created to promote small but meaningful changes such as the construction of pit lids for latrines and basic devices for hand washing.The improvement of sanitary condition in ODF villages is an action that PIN develops with the support of municipal teams and community health agents.An important prevention of diseases and high mortality among children is access to safe water. Unfortunately, static data shows that almost half of the water resources in the Bié province are inoperative or defective. In 2017 and 2018, PIN in cooperation with UNICEF helped 40 communities engaged in CLTS programme with bore drilling and provided hand pumps, which gives them access to safe water.
Food and nutrition security improvement
People in Need works to improve long-term food and nutrition security in Angola, through a project that integrates both agricultural and nutrition sectors. The agricultural component aims at increasing and diversifying crop production and raising small farmer’s income.
PIN provides beneficiaries with practical trainings and continuous advisory support, as well as relevant agriculture inputs. The supply of seeds of highly nutritive crops like soybean, groundnut, sweet potato and fruit trees is part of the project, that also fosters the implementation of vegetable-gardens and new irrigation systems, and the production of organic fertilizer. The initiative also promotes better practices for duck breeding and distributes cattle in Bié province, where the presence of bovine is very small.
As a result of the rise in the agricultural production, the workforce demand in the selected villages should also increase. PIN also encourages cooperative work of women and gives support in terms of income generation activities.
The nutrition component focuses on improving the dietary patterns of children and young women through training courses and campaigns on how to cook nutrient-rich food, the importance of breastfeeding, and safe hygiene practices. The nutrition work is expected to enhance the access to nutrient rich food in the target areas.
In total, 3,000 households will benefit from the project.
Sending life-saving messages to mothers and caregivers
With the aim of contributing for the improvement of neonatal and maternal health People in Need started piloting a maternal health (M-Health) project that combines two approaches: sending voice messages with information on neonatal care to mobile phones, and training of traditional birth attendants (TBAs) in safe delivery practices and neonatal care.
The voice messages are entertaining conversations read by local actors that have created culturally appropriate characters, providing an enjoyable service, effective at changing behaviours. The technology overcomes illiteracy barriers, and brings timely information to support mothers and fathers in caring for their baby’s health.
The service automatically deliver two messages per week on topics like breastfeeding, prevention of diseases, nutrition and hygiene, during the first 6 months of the baby. The topics of the messages are scheduled to suit the stage of growth of the child. According to recent monitoring 93% of users learnt something new, and 97% would recommend the service to others.
The project also creates links among mothers, TBAs and health staff and reinforces newborn care capacities on different levels. Priority will be given to communities with high neonatal mortality and high proportion of women in fertile age. About 13,000 users have already received support and more than 700 TBAs have been trained, in rural and peri-urban areas of the municipalities selected.
Safe water for rural communities
It has been proven that access to safe drinking water leads to decreased prevalence of diarrhoea and other water-borne diseases which cause high level of child mortality, as well as other detrimental effects on the lives of children (e.g. limited absorption of nutrients, prolonged absence from school, etc.). PIN’s project aims at strengthening water hygiene and sanitation standards in rural communities.
This is achieved by rehabilitating old water points and drilling new wells employing innovative low cost drilling technology. The work is done jointly with the support of the Municipal Administrations who deploy a focal point and a technical team to be trained on the job. Workshops are organized in communities to promote hygiene and sanitation standards, including water treatment and hand washing habits.
Each village nominates a “water committee” that is responsible for managing the water points and sensitizing dwellers on hygiene promotion. PIN stimulates communitarian ownership of the project, through beneficiaries’ personal and financial involvement in the committees, as a crucial factor for its sustainability. A supply chain of materials and spare parts for water and sanitation is promoted with the involvement of the private sector, to overcome the lack of spare parts for repairs at local level.
Over 84 000 people in rural area of Bié, Huíla and Benguela provinces will directly benefit from the project. The work is developed in 210 communities, in 6 municipalities.
IPIN – Integrated Programming for Improved Nutrition
The project is focused on the sustainable reduction of mother and child malnutrition integrating activities from three sectors: water, sanitation and hygiene, health and nutrition. The main objective is to improve maternal and child care practices influencing the nutrition and health status of pregnant and lactating women and children, through the mobilization of existing community and public resources in selected villages.
Nutrition component aims at improving the rate of infants under 6 months that receive exclusive breastfeeding. TBAs (Traditional Birth Attendants) are trained to transfer knowledge and good practices to mothers and caretakers. TBAs activities are complemented by behavioural change communication campaigns. In selected communities, support groups are formed for sharing experience between pregnant women, mothers and caretakers.
Water, sanitation and hygiene is the core of the project, since it is based on PIN expertise in open defecation free (ODF) villages in Bié province. The beneficiaries of the project were selected among 30 ODF villages in two municipalities. This component promotes the adoption of appropriate practices to avoid children’s contamination by domestic animal faeces – very often, children are left unattended, crawling on the ground, surrounded by chickens, goats or even pigs –through the use of physical barriers and the rising of awareness among inhabitants on the danger of ingesting animal faeces. The solution should be sustainable and adopted at household levels with the support of community health agents and other community change agents.
Health pursues the objective of having children under 2 years old and pregnant women vaccinated and receiving necessary supplements through outreach service provided in cooperation with authorities of the health sector. People in Need provides logistical support and training to health facilities and staff in project areas in order to reduce stock ruptures of vaccines and micronutrient supplements.
Boj s dětskou podvýživou
In five regions of the Bié province, PIN has coordinated community programs dedicated to combating child malnutrition. We have trained 560 community health volunteers in the villages on how to identify child malnutrition and how to properly treat it. We have examined 300 000 children, and more than 40 000 malnurished kids have received treatment thanks to the provided protein supplment feeding. On a weekly or bi-weekly basis, children were checked for case of complications or lack of improvement, and if any problems arose, they were reffered to the Health center unit for malnutrition.
Also, we have taught parents about hygine and nutrition habits so that they can help prevent malnutirtion in their households.
Before the end of 2013, at the end of the program, we managed to persuade local goverment to independently continue the program. We have helped them prepare budgets and now, in 2014, we support them in effective cooperation with the community health volunteers. We teach both the officials and the volunteers how to gather data and report and analyse it. The role of the suprevisors is to provide assistance and support to the volunteers. In schools, we also train the teachers about malnutirtion prevention and essential good habits which are later transfered to the children. In the communites, we organise demonstrative cooking classes.
Hygiene education in rural areas
The most common diseases in Angola are those whose risk can be greatly reduced by practicing basic hygiene habits and improving access to drinking water. Therefore, People in Need has trained hundreds of villagers, health volunteers, teachers and pupils in the five regions of the Bie province in basic hygiene.
We use simple participation methods, such as PHAST or CLTS, that provide people with information and new skills while simultaneously motivating them. For example, we show them how much money they spend on medical treaments, how many crops they’ll loose if they stay home sick instead of going to work in the fields, and the fact that because they don’t use latrines, they transmit their neighbors excretions into their homes, food and water. These educational methods successfully motivate individuals and communities to build their own latrines, treat drinking water, and care about the cleanliness and health of the whole family.
130,000 people from 230 villages have already taken and passed the hygiene and sanitation awareness sessions. As a result, half of them have built their own latrine, have begun to wash their hands and have been observing other basic habits.At the same time, we are trying to expand the local market and increass access to basic sanitation and hygiene materials such as concrete slabs for latrines, construction materials, soap, disinfectant, spareparts for repairing pumps etc.
Construction of wells and waste management
In the region of Andulo, which is in the province Bie, PIN residents participated by building five wells in the villages.The organization focuses on repairing existing water resources and especially trying to carry out the management of locals and water authorities through caucuses. In the communities, they are implementing administrative systems where citizens can contribute to the repair fund from fees for the use of wells. Educational activities aim to encourage people to use drinking water, even if it has a fee.People in Need also supports the expansion of the market for spare parts for wells and other hygiene aids. It tries to combine the mutual supply and demand of the population and local authorities, on the one hand and the retail and wholesale businesses on the other. In addition, the organization develops innovative designed hand pumps, which can be built from cheap and locally available materials and components.
In collaboration with residents and town government of Cuemba, People in Need has built an ecological landfill and municipal waste collection points. At the same time they have trained a local waste management company to manage the whole system of hazardous waste management. Residents, students and farmers have developed ways to handle the secondary waste and composted.