David Mbalo’s Story: A Livelihood in Selling and Building Toilets

David Mbalo’s Story: A Livelihood in Selling and Building Toilets

My name is David Mbalo. I serve as a community health volunteer (CHV) in Buyayi Village, Busia County. I am one of the CHVs trained by Amref Health Africa’s FINISH INK Project on sanitation marketing.

Although in the village I am best known as “Daktari wa Kijiji” (village-based health worker), I am a trained mason by profession. I took up the CHV role so as to serve my community. Since then, my passion for seeing a healthy community has been my source of motivation. I would like to see a disease-free Buyayi Village because a healthy village is an empowered village.” — David Mbalo

During his sanitation marketing sessions, David would come across sanitation system clients but since he lacked skills in construction of modern latrines, he referred them to the project-trained artisans for latrine construction. As demand for the latrines increased, David realised that as a trained mason, latrine construction would offer him extra income.

This prompted him to take up on-job training on modern latrine construction. David has since constructed more than 30 latrines, but in him lives a strong spirit charged to create demand for modern latrines through sanitation marketing while using his artisanal skills to meet the demand for modern sanitation facilities. He now makes a living constructing latrines while his village is increasingly reaping the benefits of improved sanitation such as reduced cases of diarrhoea diseases.

“This training on modern latrine construction by the Amref Health Africa FINISH INK project has fully empowered me and stirred me towards realising my dream of a healthy village with all-improved sanitation, but am also able to make a living in the process,” he added.

Financial Inclusion Improves Sanitation and Health in Kenya (FINISH INK) Project

FINISH INK is a public-private partnership (PPP) project funded by the Dutch Government through the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (R.V.O). Its focus is to increase access to sustainable sanitation in the rural financially excluded communities through micro-credit initiatives. The partnership is composed of nine organisations both local and international; Kenya’s Ministry of Health, Amref Health Africa in Kenya and the Netherlands, Sidian Bank, Family Bank, WASTE, SNS Asset Management Company, Goodwell Investment, Social Equity Foundation and the United Nations University, Maastricht (UNU-MERIT).

David’s story inspires FINISH INK’s project vision of empowering low-income communities in Busia and Kilifi to improve sanitation and health. The project continues to work with CHVs such as David in sanitation marketing with more of them being activated into the sanitation businesses to motivate their endless efforts in community health.

Amref Health Africa in Kenya’s WASH projects contribute to the universal health coverage agenda by promoting preventive health care practices such improved sanitation and by making toilets affordable to poor households through public-private partnerships with financial institutions to offer affordable loans. The loans support poor households to set up improved sanitation facilities, protecting them from water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea. It remains Amref Health Africa’s commitment to contribute to the universal health coverage agenda through all its programmes and projects