Water is a basic necessity for life. Unfortunately, not all water is safe for human consumption. Water from contaminated sources causes numerous diseases and untimely death. The fact that human beings need water and cannot live without it forces them to use it even for drinking purposes from any contaminated source as a result, many people suffer or die from waterborne diseases (Gobena T., 2006). The situation is worse in some communities in South West region. Also, access to water supply and sanitation is a fundamental need and a human right. Access for the poor is a key factor in improving health and economic productivity and therefore an essential component of any effort to alleviate poverty (WHO/ UNICEF Global water supply and sanitation assessment report, 2001). Access to water and sanitation services and quality in most remote communities in the region is very low. This is mainly due to financial constraints and delays in infrastructure development in these communities.
Following the Cholera Outbreak in South West, which led to devastation in the region, CADEF in collaboration with the Regional Delegation of Water and Energy, with support from UNICEF(Through the WASH cluster), WHO, Limbe City Council, and the South West Regional Delegation of Health, implemented a WASH project “ Drinking Water Safety and Security project”, a pilot project, which was conceived to commemorate the 2022 world water day, At the initial, DWWS project targeted major communities in Limbe municipality and due to the outbreak, the project was extended to most affected and hotspot areas in South West, the project covered various communities in Fako(Buea, Limbe, Tiko, Idenua), Meme(Kumba 1,2,3), Ndian (Bakassi), Labialem (Wabane).
The main aim of the project was to improve community water hygiene and Sanitation practices in various communities in South West by creating and empowering local mechanisms such as water management committees, with WASH strategies to enable them to engage their local population through sensitization as a strategy to improve their water sanitation and hygiene practice at the household level, thus to prevent diseases such as cholera and other water-borne diseases.
- Improved the perception and knowledge of people in the communities on how to prevent and manage water contamination that may lead to waterborne diseases such as cholera and diarrhea.
- Improved Knowledge of household water treatment methods.
- Creation and Training of Local Mechanisms within the community to manage and carry on with continuous sensitization on the importance of good water treatment and hygiene practices in the community.
- Distribution of Water treatment Materials (Aquatabs) and Hygiene promotion materials(soaps, hand sanitizers)