The local church is often found at the heart of a community, not only upholding belief, cultural values and social tradition, but also as a force for positive change and development. This paper illustrates how the church is well-placed to fulfil the vital roles necessary to deliver and sustain improved hygiene and sanitation. It draws on case studies that illustrate churchbased responses to the need for improved sanitation and hygiene in programmes supported by Tearfund,
Five roles, key to the development and change needed to tackle the sanitation crisis, characterise the church’s involvement:
- Messenger (Communicating messages about improved sanitation and hygiene);
- Demonstrator (Demonstrating an improved facility or practice);
- Implementer (Helping communities attain improved sanitation and hygiene through technical and financial support);
- Advocate (Speaking out to policymakers with, and on behalf of, communities);
- Guardian (Maintaining the gains achieved through improved hygiene and sanitation).