Mercy-USA: WASH and nutrition support for vulnerable Somalis
Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) is a priority area under the Social and Human Capital Development pillar of the Government’s National Development Plan (NDP) – 2017-2019. The social and human development pillar aims to accelerate universal access to basic social services, build human capabilities and uphold the dignity of all people of Somalia. As such, it will contribute to the overall vision of the NDP, which is to “Enhance peace and stability, economic prosperity and national cohesion”.
In order to promote hygiene and raise awareness about good hygiene habits such as washing hands, using a toilet for defecation and adopting safe drinking water practices, SMDC, with the financial and technical support of Mercy-USA, worked on a campaign that led to development and broasdcasting of air radio programs and advocacy messages in the Somali language.
SMDC did this through putting on air interactive health messages on radio, which included telephone calls from listeners for questions or clarifications.
The shows also featured guests who are health experts with prior preparation on the topic of concern for each week.
The campaign’s aim was to change the age old habits and practices and raise awareness about the necessary behaviour changes to be made through communication, reaching millions of Somalis with simple health messages.
It resulted in educating the Somali public and communicated to them key messages.
It also influenced the Somali people by encouraging them to adopt simple healthy habits that can prevent illnesses.