Friday, 10 January 2014

Here's to 2014 - By Anna Banyard

Coming home for Christmas, me realising its really cheese and crumpets that fills that little hole in my heart, and patting pets and smooth roads, young person’s rail cards and Dad’s signature casserole (and of course family and friends) is over for another year! Winter in the UK is brutally chilly compared to the equatorial sun of Kenya but for me there’s nothing like the feeling of that familiar sofa at Mum’s and when you step on the fallen pine needles around the tree trying to turn off the fairy lights. Some good rest time almost over, nearly time to get back to Kenya to crack on.

I always find that it’s at the beginning of January where you’re encouraged to look forward to what you imagine the fresh New Year to hold, and a lot of my New Year excitement is for Dig Deep in 2014.

2014 will see the progression of partnerships between communities, NGOs and government bodies, it will see cooperation, mutual respect and team work, and it will see focus groups, baseline surveys and capacity building. It will see water, sanitation and hygiene improvements in schools and communities in remote areas of Kenya.

Schools and communities will benefit from the installation of the most sustainable and appropriate water and sanitation solutions for them, which they have identified, discussed, chosen and worked towards. Pupils will participate in hygiene promotion game days, where the objective is to receive strictly positive messages teaching good hygienic practises for staying healthy and strictly to have fun while doing it. Communities will be invited to attend festivals in their villages, people dressed up as giant bars of dancing soap with entertainment all day in the name of outreach, to explain and demonstrate water filtration technologies and how they are available to people if they believe that it would improve their current way of living. Communities will no longer be limited to drink water that makes them suffer water related diseases, or long collection times, or high cost, or low quality or high risk or low supply. I am looking forward to listening to the voices of the villagers and assisting them to develop solutions to some of their water, sanitation and hygiene challenges.

Here’s to the New Year being better than we can imagine. *clink*

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