About the Teso North District - Kenya
Teso North is a key border district of Kenya with roads and railways to Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan. It borders the Bungoma district to the North, Bumula to the East, Teso South to the South and Republic of Uganda to the West. Around 60% of the population lives below the poverty line.
Economic and social disadvantages for women
Especially women in Teso North are economically and socially disadvantaged. They face serious obstacles including lack of involvement in decision making and many other things due to taboos and traditional beliefs. Many women in this area are widows with (young) children because of the high prevalence of hiv & aids. Women spend long hours on fetching water, hours which can also be spent on income generating activities.
Lack of improved water sources and sanitation
Teso North is underserved in terms of improved water sources. Only 20% of the population is provided with safe water by the Lake Victoria North Water Service board. The remaining 80% uses unsafe water from unprotected sources.
Diarrhoeal diseases contribute strongly in morbidity and mortality rates. Caused by poor access to safe water and sanitation facilities, and the prevalence of poor hygiene behaviour practices.
Lack of facilities at schools
The majority of schools in Teso North has no access to improved sanitation. The lack of latrines causes pupils use the bush and diarrhoeal diseases are common. Students (mostly girls) lose a lot of study time fetching water and the majority of people depends on unprotected sources. Many girls also miss 3 to 5 days of school per month due to their monthly periods, because there are no proper facilities at schools.
It is expected that with the promotion of Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), more household latrines will be constructed and sanitation and hygiene behaviour will improve. Unfortunately, attitudes with regard to the non-subsidiary nature of CLTS are not always positive in communities.