Other villages, which have been less affected by conflict and have been living in a more stable context, have different priorities compared to those who have experienced conflict. It is easier to implement a development programme in stable communities.
Do you adapt your approach according to the village’s history?
Yes, we take more time in the villages that were affected by conflict, where the acceptance or adaptation is slower. The programme field team conducts more visits and tries to understand what the community had to go through. We don’t expect that change will happen in a very short time – we understand this and try to adapt our approach and rhythm.
I know we sometimes want to move fast, and get results, but that doesn’t always work, especially where a lot needs to be done to change the habits of the community. For example, in some of the communities, when we talk about latrines, they claim that they are used to going to the bush and that their ancestors used to do that, and so they do not understand why we want them to build latrines. So we take more time with them, explain to them why the use of latrines is important as it helps prevent the transmission of common diarrheal disease which affect their families.
Together with other members of the DRC WASH Consortium – ACF, ACTED, CRS and Solidarités International – Concern aims to support more than 600,000 people with improved access to safe water and sanitation facilities across the Democratic Republic of Congo by 2018.