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Mifuko Trust trains soap-making

Dorcas is looking forward to learn to make soap

Author Anita Lintula & Peter Manyolo
Poor hygiene and sanitation conditions were brought up by women in Makueni and Machakos as one of the major challenges in everyday life. Mifuko Trust’s Wash and Grow!-project is answering this challenge by building ecological dry toilets and offering training on hygiene, sanitation and entrepreneurship. In May, twenty women will be trained in hygiene and soap-making. Project manager Peter Manyolo interviewed Dorcas Mueni about her family’s sanitation facilities and expectations about  the training.

Dorcas is a member of Kyeni kya Kyanziu Women Self Help Group, one of the groups in Mifuko Women Development CBO (Mifuko Trust’s NGO partner in Kenya). She is a 55 year old farmer and her family totals 15 people: her husband, 6 children and 7 grandchildren.

What are the hygiene facilities of your family like? 
My family uses an ordinary pit latrine. The walls of the latrine are made of iron sheets.  We also have a leaky tin for hand-washing placed adjacent to the latrine. There is a bottle of liquid soap at the hand washing station.

Are there any challenges related to hygiene in your daily life?
Yes, the mode of handwashing facility we have (a leaky tin) is not very effective as it involves handling of the facility during hand washing thus posing a risk of cross-contamination. In addition, we purchase handwashing soap from local vendors. The cost and the availability is a challenge at times.

What are your expectations regarding the training of Wash and Grow! on hygiene and soap making?
I am looking forward to being trained on soap making. This will enable me to make soap for my family and will save me some money. I will also be able to sell some of this soap to other households in the village.