Behavior Change Pilot Project-UNHCR Tanzania

Tanzania is host to over 285,436 refugees, fleeing mostly from war and political strife in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi. They are settled in 3 refugee camps within the Kigoma region in Western Tanzania; Nyarugusu, Nduta, and Mtendeli. UNHCR and its NGO partners, Norwegian Refugee Services and Water Mission, provide Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Promotion (WASH) services to this fragile population.

Water supply and sanitation standards are generally being met:

UNHCR Standards Achievement: December 2019
20 L/person/day 25.87 l/p/d
100 persons/tap 83 persons/tap
20 persons/latrine drophole 8 persons/latrine drophole
1,000 persons/hygiene promoter 774 persons/hygiene promoter
75 % of POCs with knowledge of basic hygiene practices 93 % POCS with knowledge of basic hygiene practices

Contrastingly, several challenging areas are:

UNHCR Standards Achievement: December 2019
0 % HHs practicing Open Defecation (OD) 2.4 % HHs practicing OD among adults and 22 % practicing OD among children under 5 years old
100 % HHs with access to adequate soap for hygiene (450 grams/person/month & 700 grams/person/month for women and girls of reproductive age) 0 % HHs with access to adequate soap for hygiene (250 grams/person/month distributed)
85 % HHs with family latrine 52 % HHs with family latrine


Develop a Behavior Change methodology which:

  • Curtails OD, particularly among children under-5, to counteract the cultural perception that children’s feces is less dangerous than adult feces
  • Promotes the prioritization of handwashing despite soap shortages, especially to prevent the selling off of soap to assist with household expenses, as well as the fabrication of soap at the household level, particularly using readily available materials such as hardwood ash-lye water from cooking embers and used palm oil, and the maintenance of a handwashing facility or dedicated handwashing vessel
  • Promotes aggressive HH latrine construction, with household participation in the construction process

Available channels of communication:

  • House-to-house visits by hygiene promoters
  • Hygiene promotion sessions at public places; markets, schools, distribution points
  • Latrine cleaning campaigns
  • Jherrycan cleaning campaigns
  • Child-to-Child School WASH Clubs
  • Zonal Leaders Meetings
  • Camp Coordination and Camp Management Meetings
  • Global WASH Events: Handwashing Day, Water Day, Toilet Day