Poverty is Dangerous
One of the greatest dangers of poverty is the ever-present risk of illness and death from disease. Compounding this is the almost complete lack of access to healthcare. Disease prevention is critical.
Healthy Homes Project
VillageWorx participates in the Healthy Homes Project—seven high-impact, low or no-cost interventions to break the vicious cycle of illness-malnutrition-poverty.
VillageWorx team in Zaka developed a Healthy Homes Program that introduces seven interventions that cost little or nothing but have a significant impact on health.
1. Drink Clean Water
Drinking clean water is an essential first step towards a healthy home. Water from a BioSand Filter is clean, has no bad odor or taste, and is even cool. Once the water has been filtered, it should be stored in a clean closed container. Additionally, the water source should be protected by keeping animals away from it and siting latrines in appropriate locations.
→ Takudzwa demonstrates the effectiveness of his BioSand Filter by comparing glasses of unfiltered water with BioSand filtered water
2. Wash your hands
A Tippy Tap provides a hands-free source of running water, and an effective low-cost way to wash hands. If soap is not available, wood ash can be used as a cleaning agent. Hands should be washed before preparing food, eating or feeding children, and after using the toilet or changing a baby.
→ Girls at a local school are eager to learn how to build a Tippy Tap so they can build one at home.
3. Don’t Breathe Smoke
Cooking in Africa is usually done over open fires in small huts. The resulting smoke is one of the leading causes of death for women and small children. VillageWorx’ team teaches families to build no-cost rocket stoves that generate more heat with less smoke, and are used outside. The health benefits last a lifetime! The stoves also use a fraction of the amount of wood required for an open fire, saving women and girls hours of labour and saving trees in an area where deforestation is a growing concern.
→ Rocket stoves are taking off in Zaka
4. Say Goodbye to Flies
Flies are a major carrier of disease, and effective traps are easy to make using discarded plastic bottles.
→ Plastic bottles can be converted into great flytraps
5. Eat Your Greens
A diet consisting mainly of sadza, a thickened porridge made of maize meal, may prevent starvation, but lacks essential vitamins and minerals essential to good health and disease prevention. VillageWorx teaches nutrition and encourages families to grow and eat high-nutrient wholesome food.
→ Ronald, a local farming manager, samples kale from the garden
6. Clean Up
Put food and animal waste into your compost, and put your garbage in a pit. Remove animal waste and garbage from yards and dwellings to minimize contamination.
7. Dry Your Dishes
Wet dishes are easily recontaminated with bacteria. Pot racks allow dishes to dry after washing, expose them to germ-killing sunlight, and keep them out of reach of children and animals. They cost very little but result in significant health benefits!
→ Mrs. Jani (left) poses beside her new pot rack