Sanitation champion, Pius, develops local Serengeti market
For Pius Zebedayo Zakayo, 43, who hails from Rwamchanga village, Manchira ward in Serengeti District, Tanzania, the construction of toilets under FINISH Mondial Tanzania has not only helped villages to live in a clean environment but has also helped create employment for people like him. “I’m now a professional mason. The training I got from the FINISH Mondial Tanzania programme has helped me construct toilets for many people,” he says.
Unlike the traditional toilets they were used previously, Pius has been empowered to construct different types of toilets such as leach pit, ventilated improved pit (VIP) and ventilated improved double pit (VIDP), which are all options promoted under FINISH. With the help of the Ward Executive Officer, Pius along with his mason colleagues have been raising awareness about the importance of using improved toilets. This has helped to create demand for the toilets, hence making him earn a sustainable income.
Resistance and patience
In the beginning, many people liked the traditional toilets which used logs (wooden floor). FINISH Mondial teams were able to advise community members on building improved toilets which would safely maintain the human waste to improve community and environmental health.
While he faced resistance at the start of the project (as some community members were reluctant to change from the traditional toilets), people now understand the advantages of using the improved toilets despite the relatively higher construction costs. As part of the project, Pius has been working with the micro-finance institutions (MFIs) that have developed sanitation loan portfolios both for sanitation entrepreneurs and households to construct the toilets. Since the project started, Pius has never looked back. He now earns a stable income that is used to take care of his family, including paying for school fees for his children and keep growing his business.
Sustainable market development
Pius has been working with FINISH Mondial Tanzania and his community members to raise awareness about how households can safely take out and payback loans. He explained that the promotion of free toilets by other NGOs is a threat to local market development and therefore, his business.
Among the key milestones that Pius has witnessed since engaging with the FINISH Mondial Tanzania programme, are the subsequent engagement and training of 32 grassroots financial institutions (VICOBA, COCOBA) and the training of 86 sanitation marketers. The partnership with Equity Bank has also been a key catalyst for the financial inclusion and safe sanitation promotion that FINISH is striving for.