The Government of Mozambique aim is to eliminate the practice of open defecation across the country by 2025 and universal access to basic sanitation by 2030. It has been done through the mass mobilization of communities on behavioral change messages, certifying open defecation free communities, and strengthening sanitation markets. Prior to the cyclones Kenneth and Idai, the rate of open defecation in the rural areas has been high across the affected provinces Sofala (67%), Manica (45%) and Zambezia (72%). This means that even households not directly impacted by the cyclone or floods, have a high probability of practicing open defecation.
The two cyclones that affected Mozambique, Idai and Kenneth, have had a profound impact on the population and the access to sanitation infrastructures. Two main affected groups can be recognized; the people resettled in new rural areas (“resettlement sites”), and the generally affected population by cyclonic winds and/or floods. The first group can be categorized as the most vulnerable, followed by the generally affected area that remained in their habitual place of residence.
Sanitation interventions for relocation centers and first phase emergency support in resettlement sites focused on the construction of temporary emergency communal latrines. The guidelines for this sanitation support is included in the Mozambique WASH Cluster Emergency Sanitation Guidelines1 . Their construction was often undertaken by humanitarian agencies, where materials, and sometimes labor, were fully subsidized. After the acute emergency needs for construction of latrines for communal latrines for 1:5 households the WASH Cluster will support the construction of household latrines in resettlement sites and affected communities using a dome slab modality to improve sanitation access and to encourage improved hygiene behaviors.
It is still important to remark that in both the acute emergency response phase and in the current stage there was -and there continues to be- a need to strengthen existing/new sanitation services, replacing or repairing those that ceased functioning, and develop additional, appropriate complementary WASH services to meet the emerging needs of those in the affected districts.
The Sanitation Guidelines for Emergency Household Level Sanitation is based on a principal framework that will clarify WASH sanitation household level priorities. This guidance was developed in consultation with WASH Cluster partners through technical working group meetings and approved through cluster partner consultations. It is intended to help address the complexity of the transition between acute emergency and post emergency, improving mutual support across partners, and connecting and synchronizing actions across national institutions and key WASH actors. In addition, WASH cluster partners will aim toward eliminating the practice of open defecation and supporting the adoption of improved sanitation infrastructure. This strategy proposed is therefore aligned to the existing national policy and the rural sanitation strategy whereby the focus is on supporting communities with behavioral change and demand creation, while at the same time subsidizing the most vulnerable. This intervention should build onto the developing context of strengthening markets with contextualized sanitation products.