Evelyn Anyango

Evelyn has lived in Nyalenda B all her life. She is 26 years old and has five children. Her first husband and father of the two oldest children left her to marry someone else, but the father of her other children gives her some support.

Evelyn lives with her mother and children and most of her time is taken in caring for her children but she sometimes works in a nearby shop to earn some money. Evelyn's eldest daughter, 13 year old Carolyne attends the local school where she is a member of the health club. 

Five years ago, Evelyn’s daughter, Scovia, had a severe case of diarrhoea. She tried everything to make her better, but she continued to get worse. 

“When Scovia was six months old, she was admitted to hospital for six days. The main problem was acute diarrhoea and the doctors advised that I improve cleanliness because they said it was the main cause. I felt bad and felt that it is good to make your surroundings clean and to wash your hands before eating anything.” 

Evelyn wasn't aware of the importance of good hygiene at the time and with no running water at home, it was difficult to ensure that her family were clean and safe from disease. Since then, Evelyn has been able to incorporate important hygiene steps into her life. 

“From that time, it has been very different, I have changed completely. I now take care of my surroundings, my level of cleanliness and hygiene has gone up and I have had no problems with my other children.”

Six households use the one toilet and keep it clean. Evelyn's two youngest children don’t use the pit latrine because it’s too deep and they feel like they might fall in. They sometimes use a potty or Evelyn puts down some newspaper and the baby goes on the newspaper."

It’s a tough life for people living in Nyalenda B but Evelyn and her family are doing everything they can to ensure that they do not get sick. Now that Evelyn understands the important of hygiene, she has been talking to her neighbours about it and many of them are listening. 

Evelyn and her children collect water from a nearby tap. She boils it because breaks in the pipe mean it’s not safe to drink.

"There was a time when the water was not good. It had a bad small and it had changed colour. During this time, we had to boil the water and use aqua tablets. The water company had to cut off the water and there was no water in the taps for a month. People had to go to the spring with tanks."  

The older children now consistently wash their hands and teach the younger ones. From class five to eight at school they are trained in handwashing.

Water is expensive too. Evelyn uses around six jerry cans a day at a cost of 3 shillings (2p) per can. When she has to do a lot of washing, she uses up to 12 jerry cans. The tablets she used to treat the water for drinking cost 25 shillings (18p) per sachet which lasts a week. To have clean water from the tap would make a big difference to Evelyn and her family.

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