A NON-Governmental Organisation-Raleigh Tanzania, through its campaign of improving sanitation and hygiene behaviours in the public, has stressed the need for society especially youths to change their mindset on hygienic practices. The campaign dubbed ‘Youth for positive hygiene behaviour’, being implemented in four regions of Dodoma, Iringa, Dar es Salaam and Morogoro intends to mobilise more than 48,000 youth hygiene influencers in a bid to encourage positive hygiene behaviour.
Speaking during a cleanliness event at Mavunde Market and hygiene festival held at Dodoma Secondary School on Friday, Raleigh Tanzania, and Project Coordinator Augustino Dickson said the campaign which launched in the past two months, aimed at creating a society that put personal and community hygiene as one of their top agenda.
He said the project was targeting at young women and men aged between 15 and 35 and seeking to motivate young people to take good hygienic practices such as hand washing, safe water management, waste management and general personal hygiene. Mr Dickson said in Dodoma his organisation had seven youth campaign champions and had trained and identified 50-youth hygiene influencers for the group to influence peers in their communities.
“Young people in Tanzania need to be equipped with knowledge on various issues to be able to contribute to the development of their country. Raleigh Tanzania has been working to equip youth with various skills including entrepreneurship skills. With this campaign, we are focusing on educating youth on hygiene for them to manage their environment.” he noted.
He said the campaign is designed to respond to the specific hygiene needs of each region such as influencing young people to take action for proper waste management. Mr Dickson noted that, in Dodoma, the focus of the campaign would be on personal hygiene for youth where the group is encouraged to take action for their personal hygiene.
The campaign is named “Uchafu Sio Dili, Ng’aa Kijanja” which literally translates to “Dirty isn’t a Deal, Look Smart. In Iringa, the focus will be on waste management, by turning wastes into a business opportunity. The campaign in Iringa is named “Taka ni Mchongo; Kamata Utajiri” which means “Waste is Business Opportunity, Grab It.”
The content of this campaign aligns with Tanzania Development Vision 2025 and Agenda 2030 (Global Sustainable Development Goals) because it is preparing young people to be not only aware but also caretakers of themselves and their environments. One of the youth hygiene champions, Ms Dorice Kimambo said they have come up with wash tool kit manual which they would use to train after realizing that majority of the people do it routinely without observing the needed guidelines.
On his part, youth hygiene influencer , Mr Issa Mohamed said they had focused on youth because they were majority and a base in which if they really understand the need for personal hygiene they will pass over the knowledge to their colleagues and in so doing build a nation that observe hygiene measures.