Yamite is 25 years old and a mother of four. Like any mother will tell you, life with small children is loud, busy and messy. But, thankfully for Yamite, not quite as messy as it could be.
Yamite is one of 1,200 people living in Mpoko Loko village, situated about 19 miles from Bangui city in the Central African Republic. For most people here, toilets are a luxury.
No toilets, no choice
‘Like everyone in Mpoko Loko, we used the bush as the place to defecate,’ explains Yamite. ‘It put our lives – and our children’s lives – at risk.’
That’s until training from Tearfund partner Jupedec raised awareness in Yamite’s village of the consequences of open defecation. This new-found knowledge prompted Yamite’s family and others into action. ‘My brother and my husband dug our first latrine,’ says Yamite, ‘and since we have adopted washing hands after using the latrine and before manipulating food stuff…I have noticed a reduction of diarrhoea in my family.’
However, Yamite’s family aren’t quite out of the woods yet. ‘We will not prevent diarrhoea completely in this village unless we get access to potable water,’ she explains.
So, following her training with Jupedec, Yamite is passing her knowledge on. She’s raising awareness with her neighbours of the importance of building and using latrines to avoid contaminating the river, the village’s only source of water.
‘Thanks to Jupedec and Tearfund for increasing our knowledge in order to improve our health,’ says Yamite.
Tearfund’s Deputy Response Manager Mwaka says, 'Continue to pray for the situation in Mpoko Loko and for a sustainable solution for access to clean water. Thank you for your support, and for standing with us in prayer for people like Yamite and her family.'
Ask God that more people like Yamite would take what they have learnt and pass their knowledge on to make a difference in their communities.
Pray that Jupedec and other organisations would have the resources they need to bring essential information to hard-to-reach places.