Improved latrines construction: An employment opportunity

“My name is Mwita Maryogo Marwa (42). I am a mason and I got training on construction of toilets through Amref FINISH project.” Maryogo, along with other men, benefited from the training facilitated by Amref Tanzania on the construction of toilets. The training has not only equipped Maryogo and his colleagues with hands-on skills, but has also enabled him to be an inspiration in his community on the importance of having and using improved toilets for each homestead.

“The construction training has given me confidence to motivate others to build improved latrines. We have been able to build a number of toilets even for those who could not afford the associated costs,” he says. The training has also helped the artisans to form a nine member group called UMAMASI (Umoja wa Mafundi Afya Mazingira Serengeti). “Working as a group helps us to solve challenges collectively as one team,” he added.

To minimize the challenges of limited incomes, UMAMASI works with Equity Bank whereby poor households are provided with micro-loans to enable them to construct the improved toilets, especially buying the construction materials. These loans are periodically paid in small amounts until the whole amount is fully paid with interest of 1.34%. According to Maryogo, construction of one improved toilet costs around TZS 760,000 which many families cannot afford. Thus, the Equity Bank loan intervention has been so helpful to a number of households.

While the amount might seem big for a typical rural household, the benefits are incalculable. More importantly, construction of these improved toilets has reduced incidences of disease spread. Maryogo insisted that they should continue sensitizing the community about the importance of using improved toilets, particularly for the health benefits.

For Maryogo and his group, being contracted to build toilets has been a great source of income which he never dreamed of. “Personally, I have been able to obtain income after building toilets and I am able to support my family and myself. I also benefited from the training provided by Amref Tanzania here in Serengeti and Busia in Kenya. With the training. I am proud that I am capable of supporting my own community while looking for new clients as this is now my income generating activity,” he concluded.

To Maryogo, Amref Health Africa has given him another important opportunity in life, and his plea is for more community education and awareness on the importance of having improved toilets.

Financial Inclusion Improves Sanitation and Health for Tanzania (FINISH FORT) is a public private partnership (PPP) project funded by the Dutch Government and being implemented in Serengeti district by Amref Health Africa in Tanzania. The main goal of the project is to ensure increased access to sustainable sanitation among the financially excluded rural communities through microcredit initiatives.