The Good and Bad News from WatSan
Well, we’ve got some bad news…latrine sales have not been as high as we have hoped. Despite the positive feedback we’d gotten from the community about our role plays, this has not translated into a lot of purchases. Although we’re a bit disappointed, we knew from our research that this was going to be a tough nut to crack and we’ve continued to search for ways to improve our marketing strategy. Thus, for the past couple of weeks, we have continued to survey the community using a tool called barrier analysis. This tool, developed by Food for the Hungry, and is used to determine what barriers are keeping community members from certain behaviors. For example, some community members may not use a latrine because they don’t believe that this behavior is effective in preventing diarrhea. We are now compiling the data from our surveys and we hope to bring new insight in order to increase sales.
However, we do have some good news. Handwashing station sales have been promising, with January and February sales totaling almost 200 sold! The handwashing station has been so popular that some people have brought in their old handwashing station which used a metal tap in order to retrofit it with our plastic tap. These metal taps are notorious for becoming leaky after several months of use, even though they cost twice as much as our plastic taps.
It’s also great to see our field officers joke around and have a great time while constructing the handwashing stations. They’ve developed a friendship among them that makes them a fun bunch to hang around. The field officers have also become more and more confident in their own construction skills. Last month, we noticed that several of the handwashing stations we made were faulty. The PVC pipe would not bond to the yellow buckets, and thus the tap would not function properly. The field officers quickly diagnosed the problem as being the fat which remained in those buckets (we reuse old cooking fat containers) not allowing the super glue to bond. After learning that lesson, the field officers only purchased buckets which had been pre-cleaned.