Communities certified

Health Watch

MANY motivators who volunteered for the United Nations’ water, sanitation and hygiene (Wash) programme in Western Highlands have not fully carried out their duties, a volunteer says.
Kuman Tetep, a father of five from Minimp village in Hagen Central, said a few motivators had stayed committed until their communities were certified and declared open defecation free (ODF).
The Wash programme was rolled out in 200 communities in Hagen Central.
Tetep and two others worked closely with the Mt Hagen city authority, implementers Care International and feedback foundation in nine communities that were declared ODF last Wednesday.
Tetep said he witnessed change in the people’s health when the Klinpela Komuniti Projek was introduced.
“My five children are all in school,” he said.
“For every school selected for the Wash programme, four communities were also identified.
“I want my children to live in a healthy community and go to schools where there are Wash facilities provided.”
Tetep said the motivators had left because they wanted allowance for their work.
The project was funded by the European Union, in partnership with the United Nations International Children Fund (Unicef) and the Government.
Tetep said the motivators showed commitment in the initial stages of the project but left when noting was offered.
“This vital health project is for the community we live in and it is beginning to improve our health,” he said.
“In the past, our ancestors and parents taught us to use bushes as toilets. This has changed and our children will learn from this new initiative and follow what we are doing today.”
Mt Hagen city authority chief executive Leo Noki thanked the volunteers for attending trainings in the beginning.
“You (motivators) have done a wonderful job in making awareness, help implementing partners to organise activities and become our mouthpiece,” he said.
“Health is everyone’s business and with the rise in the Covid-19 cases, water, sanitation and hygiene practices are important. We must stay healthy.”
Noki said motivators played a crucial role in ensuring the nine communities were aware of proper hand washing behaviour and use of toilet facilities.
He said people should learn to obey simple instructions to stay healthy and make sure the facilities were maintained at all times.