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In the past, residents of Mwandiga I, a semi-urban village in South Kivu, had no access to clean water, instead using water from Lake Tanganyika for drinking, washing and cooking. Defecation took place mostly in the surrounding bush, hand-washing with soap or ash wasn’t practised, and the importance of good hygiene wasn’t understood.

Now, however, as a result of work done through the SWIFT programme, the community has easy access to clean water, and thanks to the Community Health Club set up by Tearfund with the support of Africa AHEAD, the village has been transformed.

A free, voluntary club that holds weekly discussions on health and hygiene topics, the Community Health Club has brought about significant improvements in the well-being of residents, with a noticeable fall in the incidence of sickness and even a beneficial effect on the village economy.

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