‘Now you can wash whenever you want!’: Katungulu’s women describe the changes SWIFT has supported in their village


SWIFT Story of Sustainable Change: Changing the lives of women in Katungulu, DRC, through the provision of safe water, sanitation and hygiene

In the past, the women of Katungulu had no alternative but to make a two-hour round-trip to a contaminated river to collect water. The scarcity of water meant that villagers couldn’t wash themselves, their children or their clothes. It was also a source of conflict.

Now, however, as a result of work done by Tearfund through the SWIFT programme, the community has access to clean, safe water in the heart of the village. Many families have constructed latrines with ‘tippy-taps’ where they can wash their hands, and hygiene behaviour has improved dramatically.

Katungulu’s women report a sharp drop in the incidence of sickness in the village as a result. The fights over water with their husbands have stopped, they are less tired, and they have been given information about women’s hygiene issues for the first time. They are determined to pass on what they have learned and ensure the changes to their lives are sustainable.