Secured shelter and basic sanitation are essential for living a healthy and stable life.

However, thousands of poor people in rural areas are still living straw huts without electricity, water or sanitation.

They are exposed to the elements, dangerous animals like snakes and scorpions, and to an unhealthy environment. People not only need a house to protect them, but also to bring up their families, to cook, work and simply to have a home to call their own.

The same applies to sanitary facilities like toilets, and proper drainage and waste disposal systems.

These 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. Housing and sanitation therefore, are not just about building shelters and toilets. They are critical to rural development as a whole and they give communities 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 themselves. We also let them take the lead in the planning and construction of the houses on their grounds. Once a community has shown initiative in these different respects, ASSIST provides matching funding and the required material and assistance.

As to sanitation, we first create awareness on the importance of hygiene and personal and environmental sanitation. Only then, we promote the construction of household toilets, school toilets, drainage systems and eco-friendly solutions to waste disposal. We teach schoolchildren on hygiene practices and promote the use and maintenance of sanitary facilities among all community members.

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