Families within ASSIST’s target group in rural areas are often living straw huts without electricity, water or sanitation. Housing and sanitation do not only improve people’s hygiene patterns and prevent diseases like cholera and typhoid; they also provide them with a sense of pride and dignity. This is critical to the rural development process as communities can then build the confidence to focus on other development activities to improve their living conditions.
ASSIST promotes the participation and ownership of people in housing projects by encouraging communities to apply for Government support, with ASSIST providing a matching grant to make up the difference. Any external support is provided in the form of materials, and the family benefitting will take the lead in the planning and construction of their houses and household toilets.
ASSIST first creates awareness on the importance of hygiene and personal and environmental sanitation, drainage systems and eco-friendly solutions to waste disposal, as part of each project.