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The Mozambique Poo Tour
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The Mozambique Poo Tour
Water and sanitation are some of the biggest challenges facing the developing world. Yet they continue to be low on the political agenda. In a bid to raise the profile of this human crisis, Australian soap star turned comedian Mark Little and a group of musicians set off to Mozambique to discover how communities are tackling the issues of human waste.
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Segment 1

MARK LITTLE [actor and comedian]
This is a poo story. It begins in the UK, where we take sanitation and clean water for granted. Yet, just over 100 years ago, diseases such as diarrhea and cholera regularly caused sickness and death across Britain. Yet these same diseases are killing millions of children across the developing world today.
TITLE
Poo Productions in association with Phil Turner Productions present
TITLE
Mark Little
TITLE
The Mozambique Poo Tour
MARK LITTLE
So, inspired by the shocking [Tearfund and WaterAid] Human Waste report, a mob of us got together -- no not plumbers, not sanitation engineers, but musicians and filmmakers -- to attempt to raise awareness of sanitation issues in the developing world. Yes, it was the humble toilet that was to lead the band Empty Boat and myself, Mark Little, on an extraordinary journey of music, discovery, friendship, dust, videotape, and poo in the wonderful country of Mozambique.
TITLE
Niassa Province, Mozambique
MARK LITTLE
Chapter one of our poo saga and there's a mountain of band gear to load up. Luckily I'm travelling light so I'm going walkabout. We are in Lichinga, in the Niassa Province in the very north of Mozambique. We're here to hook up with the legendary local band Massukos, who have very close links with Estamos, a local NGO strongly dedicated to all community needs, especially sanitation and HIV. We have two weeks in Mozambique with 3,000 miles to travel on a tight schedule. This is rock'n'roll, but not as we know it. I think we're in the right place. Found myself a bit of shade. I'm glad I'm here in the winter; apparently it's very, very hot. They are walking around with fleeces on. They actually reckon this is a bit nippy. The temperature has dropped to about 23 [Celsius].
MARK LITTLE
Mozambique is one of poorest countries on the planet and is recovering from 17 years of brutal civil war, which ended in 1992. Life expectancy is low, with only one out of five of the rural population having access to sanitation: a toilet, basically. Poo is no joke. Feces is a germ-ridden killer in anyone's language. One of the main problems with the subject of sanitation and hygiene worldwide is it's still quite a taboo subject. No one really likes talking about the poo -- at length, anyway. On this trip, I will have to broach the subject of poo often. It is an issue. It's only day two and there is still a lot of poo to talk. Am I up to it?
MARK LITTLE
What a trip: 156 kilometers in the back of a ute in the African bush. Dust, villages, happy smiling people. We are definitely on the road, and that's one of the most extraordinary things I've done in my life and I'm glad I'm here. What seems like endless miles of travel has ended. We've arrived. Muita, Niassa Province, Mozambique. A major priority in the rebuilding of Mozambique is a healthy population. Toilets, clean water points, and simple hygiene practice are essential. Women, who have no access to a latrine, must wait until it is dark to go to the toilet. Or they have to walk long distances to find an isolated spot. This exposes them to the danger of sexual harassment, assault, and animal attacks, never mind discomfort and sometimes illness. These problems can all be prevented by having a safe, clean toilet close to home. Enabling women's voices and problems to be heard in the decision-making process is not easy, but a crucial part of the solution.
MARK LITTLE
Enter Massukos, with a truckload of equipment, a generator, and a message. And straight away it's all in for an impromptu jump up. Massukos formed a decade ago, releasing their first album "Kuimba kwa Massuko" in 2001, winning the media award for best Mozambican group. This very album, which has sold more than 80,000 copies in a nation where life's basic necessities are scarce, won Massukos the International prize for Water, Creation, and Arts at the Cannes Water Symposium in 2003. Being one of Mozambique's most popular groups, Massukos use their profile to raise awareness nationally about the importance of hygiene and sanitation in creating a stronger, healthier community, while instilling a sense of pride in the people of the remote Niassa province: local lads making good.
MARK LITTLE
Today we meet Estamos, Massukos, and the locals of Muita. It's our first gig. Massukos are here at the invitation of the traditional leader of Muita, Manuel Aragi, because he knows that an event like Massukos playing on the back of a truck will get a crowd. And it did. And while Massukos are spreading the word of peace, love, and clean hands, they also represent Estamos. Not only will Massukos play a few tunes, they will also talk to the traditional leader about practical improvements to the way of life here -- like toilets, which is lucky cos this bloke is a bit of an expert. We are now here in Muita proper, in a pwaro and a guest here of Senior Regulo. Senior Regulo thanks very much for having us here today. Thank you. And, oh ... aw, look out. Well there we are, I've just had a traditional handshake. I don't mean to sound disrespectful, but you seem like a young leader.
SENIOR REGULO [via translator]
He's the youngest, he's the youngest regulo.
MARK LITTLE
Really?
TRANSLATOR
In the district of Mandimba, which is a district in Niassa, he's the youngest regulo here.
MARK LITTLE
Okay, so what is your function as leader then of Muita?
SENIOR REGULO [via translator]
The first function of a regulo is to act as a leader for the community. Is to educate the community, to exchange information, and the regulo also serves a function as an intermediary between the community and the government.
MARK LITTLE
Okay, because I also heard today that he's becoming quite famous for his use of the compost toilet, the ecosan toilet and that Muita is possibly leading the way in the world with this technology. Would that be right?
MARK LITTLE
Manuel was a most inspiring young leader, and my flattery was getting me nowhere. Enough of the yak, he wanted to show me the proof of the pudding. So, he took me to the toilet. Knock knock! Oh, here we go. How long does it take to turn in to compost?
SENIOR REGULO
Eight months.
MARK LITTLE
Eight months?
SENIOR REGULO
Eight months.
MARK LITTLE
That's not long is it? That's not a bad turnover. It has to be ... so how deep is the pit?
SENIOR REGULO
One meter and 20 centimeters.
MARK LITTLE
One meter, 20 centimeters. This is waiting to be dug up as compost?
MAN
Yeah, yeah.
MARK LITTLE
Can we lift the lid, to see ... here. Simple. One meter, 20 centimeters. Human waste compost. I'm having real trouble getting my head around this. Considering how many nasties there are in feces, how is it possible to break this down to a germ-free manageable commodity? Chemistry, it seems. The correct depth pit, human waste, and the magic ingredient: ash. Eight months later, compost. Well, I'll believe it when I see some bloke stick his hand in it. Human waste, ash, and that bloke stuck his hand in it. Eight months in a scientifically correct-depth pit, and you've got stuff that makes your pineapples plump. Not so much a baptism of fire as a baptism of poo.
MARK LITTLE
Well, what a privilege for us. On the other hand, the Senior Regulo, the traditional leader of Muita, was also more than happy to show off his modern sanitation techniques, and to give us a tour of his village. He was also most emphatic that for his vision of a latrine in every household, a healthy village to work, community organizations such as Estamos, WaterAid, Metamengue are vital. Therefore, our connection, our fortunate connection with Massukos is proving most enlightening. Today we head off for Mandimba to see human waste compost put to its use.
MARK LITTLE
From Muita to Mandimba, a diversion. The bloke who first stuck his hand in the human waste compost was Camilo. He helps Massukos set up remote gigs all over the Mozambique bush. He also works for Estamos. He lives in Mandimba, but in his local village 20 miles out he's conducting an experiment. In his fruit orchard of apple and Massukos trees, he's showing local farmers the proof of the effectiveness of human waste compost on his crops.
MARK LITTLE
Is this an Estamos initiative? Is this your idea?
CAMILO
Yes, okay. The idea was together, we was thinking together with WaterAid and Estamos. WaterAid help us to do everything.
MARK LITTLE
Do you just go into the community or do you need to be asked in to the community? How does Estamos ...
CAMILO
Yeah, what we are doing is ... you know the first thing what we are doing is to enter in the community. We must talk with the traditional leaders. We must talk with the influential people, you know. And then after that we explain what we need to do or how we can do together, because this job is not only for Estamos, it not only belong to Estamos or for WaterAid but it belong to the community. The other problem I think is it's very difficult to talk about latrines, you know, when you talk about feces, it's very difficult.
MARK LITTLE
Indeed. Well, it's across the board, the whole world. I mean, humanity has trouble talking about poo.
CAMILO
Yes, that's true
MARK LITTLE
And that's what this documentary is about.
CAMILO
Even myself.
MARK LITTLE
Me man, I don't like talking about poo too much. But there are times you just have to and this is the time, because you know this is compost, it was poo once. It's poo, I'll say it again. But not any more. It's a valuable asset to a rural community. Let's go and have a walk and have a look. I want to learn more.
CAMILO
Yes, I can show you more. Sometimes we take the community to show how they can use the compost.
MARK LITTLE
So there's compost on all this.
CAMILO
Yes, all these plants, but you are going to find now a different thing.
MARK LITTLE
Between this side which is compost.
CAMILO
Yes, and this side, we don't have compost, we are not putting compost.
MARK LITTLE
Well I can see the difference already. Right and that makes sense anywhere, that people, if they can see the difference, you know,
CAMILO
Yes, and because to start to show somebody: they can come here, they can see, they can believe, that's very important. Believe. To believe. Believe and trust.
MARK LITTLE
I think this is important for the whole world, because I believe that what's happening here in Niassa is not only important to the local people, but I think it's a very modern concept for the whole planet. You know, composting our own waste. You know, we're in a bad way, I think, I would say personally we're in a bad way, the planet. And what's happening here is quite innovative and radical and can assist the whole world.
CAMILO
And what we need to introduce now with soul, you know.
MARK LITTLE
Rigor?
CAMILO
Powers, yes. What we were thinking now is to improve the community agriculture people to use compost to produce tobacco. Because they are losing a lot of money to buy seeds. You can use the money for buy other things. Or for live. But you have compost, that is really important.
MARK LITTLE
The ecosans are really important. Not only are you providing health for the village and a sanitized area to go and do what must be done but then you can use a product. Oh man.
CAMILO
That's good. [inaudible]
MARK LITTLE
Yeah, more power to this. Crikey, we talked serious poo for an hour. Mozambique is being rebuilt and many conversations I've had with Mozambicans are filled with clever thinking and optimism at this prospect. I'm not even here half a week and already my mind has been opened to new ideas of innovation and sustainability, and to a whole new country: Mozambique. I was fast realizing how little I really knew about Africa. And while I was talking poo, Empty Boat had found an audience. And they'd struck up a concert on the side of the road.
MARK LITTLE
Adios amigos. Adios. Off we go again. Four days, no sleep and feeling no pain. Three hours we've been in the back of this ute. Me bum's a bit sore, but me arm's sorer from waving. It's the friendliest place on Earth, and I mean that. It's a wave fest! It really does fill your heart with joy. Beautiful day, but I tell you what, I wouldn't like being here in the heat. That's the thing about Mozambique: six months of the year it's mud, everything's wet. And the other six months, everything's dust. It's hard work, Mozambique. Beautiful but hard work. That's the band. The band are in the back. And that's Gideon, he plays the tuba. He's waving in a white shirt, he's wearing a tie. It's his birthday today. He's 30. We're going to have a party in Lichinga.
GIDEON JUCKES
Well we was talking about this actually, that the average life expectancy in Mozambique is 45 for men, so you know that sort of makes me freaking out about reaching 30 really insignificant, innit? On that note ...
MARK LITTLE
Okay, my chat with Camilo from Estamos is making everything clearer. WaterAid works in partnership with community organizations such as Estamos who in turn work closely with the community. Now if anyone says this is not working, I say, get on your bike. I'm on me bike, I'm mobile, and I'm heading to the market. Rosaria from WaterAid and our guide for this tour said she's going to show me around cos I'm hunting something down. One of my sporting heroes is Maria Mutola or Maria Lurdes Mutola as she's known in Mozambique, the great 800-meter runner. And the women wear these dresses called kapalanas and they're all adorned with the picture of Lourdes Mutola, and I'm going to get one. Off to Rosaria.

Segment 2

MARK LITTLE
This morning, Rosaria is taking me to the theater, darling. The Olongo dance theater in the local market. But, before that, a spot of shopping. But she would have to pick the busiest day of the week. Where is she, she said she'd be wearing a black cardigan and a microphone. Ah, Rosaria. Lichinga Market. Which way first? I want -- and this is really honest, I'm not just making this up because I'm in Mozambique -- a Lourdes Matola kapalana.
ROSARIA MABICA
Let's go and see if we can have it.
MARK LITTLE
Yeah. Cool. And I also need a transistor radio. Oh, Australia, Sydney 2000. Oh yes, champione! I think I'm buying this for the missus.
ROSARIA MABICA
Fifty.
MARK LITTLE
Fifty?
ROSARIA MABICA
Yeah.
MARK LITTLE
Oh, that is a bargain! That is ... I would like two.
ROSARIA MABICA
The two.
MARK LITTLE
Discreetly whack out ...
ROSARIA MABICA
You happy now?
MARK LITTLE
... one hundred thousand of the ... mi-tick-yas.
ROSARIA MABICA
Meticais. Meticais.
MARK LITTLE
Meticais. Oh, I could go mad. Who's that. Is that Michael Owen? No it's Ronaldo. Is that Ronaldo? I don't think so. Anyway. Ah, here we go.
ROSARIA MABICA
You just want to have a bike and a transistor.
MARK LITTLE
Well, I've got me bike but I feel a bit naked without a radio
ROSARIA MABICA
So, okay, let's go.
MARK LITTLE
I want to listen to RFM. Is that RM? Oh, we can listen to China. Oh, brilliant. I've never bought so much in a market. This, this is a really great market. You could let me loose in here. What, what is this stuff?
ROSARIA MABICA
It's soap.
MARK LITTLE
Ah, soap.
ROSARIA MABICA
Wash your hands and be healthy, so ...
MARK LITTLE
Exactly. Because I've seen a lot of soap, so the message is getting across.
ROSARIA MABICA
Wash your hands, be healthy. That's the message.
MARK LITTLE
That's the message. Rosaria, what's becoming really clear is that WaterAid's not like an overlord. It's a partnership with the community.
ROSARIA MABICA
Oh yeah.
MARK LITTLE
Oh you're about to ... We've set something up in the market we're going to see.
ROSARIA MABICA
Yep, you're going to see Ulongo. Ulongo is our partner and is a drummer group, so they are going to perform certain issues that we have here in Mozambique like HIV, sanitation, hygiene to make people aware of this kind of problems.
MARK LITTLE
Fantastic.
ROSARIA MABICA
Just follow me.
MARK LITTLE
Let's go. I can hear it in the distance. Ulongo, a theatre group set up specifically to entertain and educate the peoples of remote Niassa Province. Based on Augusto Boal's "Theatre of the Oppressed," Ulongo's theatre is raw, didactic, and applicable to specific community issues. This performance was arranged wholly for our filming today, so luckily we didn't have to chase them in to the bush. The dancing gets the crowd in, then the theater begins. Today's show is about the invisible killers -- dysentery, cholera, and HIV -- and how traditional healers can only go so far with their treatment, and that more trust must be placed in the doctor in the white coat, even if his practices do seem a bit weird. Oh, keep an eye out for the toilet dance at the end. Here comes Doctor Poo with a dunny [toilet]. Job's a good un. Thank you doctor, now let the toilet dancing begin.
MARK LITTLE
Improved hygiene behavior and sanitation lead to better health, which enables the poor to work and earn more to support their families. It's as simple as that. Empty Boat are preparing for a gig at Metamengue tomorrow -- alone. Massukos can't make it. So, Empty Boat have been invited to play instead. They've been asked to carry the torch for Estamos and provide the community concert and forum for the hygiene message. The Poo Tour shifts into another gear. There's something very weird about those zebras. Meanwhile, Rosaria and I take a well-earned break.
MARK LITTLE
Ahhh. Well, here we are Rosaria. We've taken a little moment away from the band just to have a bit of a chat. Because you've actually had the job of our guide on this tour. And I've noticed on this trip the amazing access we're getting to villages, there's a sort of trust. How does WaterAid achieve this?
ROSARIA MABICA
Well, let me start, just to say that WaterAid is an NGO. We are not working directly with communities. The partners we have, they do directly the job with the communities. And what we want is to get these organizations to be sustainable so that they can continue the work they are doing when we leave.
MARK LITTLE
We're dealing with some of the poorest people in the world here aren't we?
ROSARIA MABICA
Yeah, we're dealing with the poorest people in the world and you know we are really trying hard. And when I say "we," I'm saying WaterAid, I'm saying Estamos, and Ulongo -- our partners and those communities.
MARK LITTLE
Are children dying from bad sanitation?
ROSARIA MABICA
Yeah.
MARK LITTLE
Lots?
ROSARIA MABICA
Yeah, lots. And if you help them to get better sanitation, to get safe water, we can just contribute to upgrade the level of their life
MARK LITTLE
And it's not an instant fix. This is going to take a long time.
ROSARIA MABICA
Yes, it's going to take long. But, as I say, we'll get there. For sure we'll get there.
MARK LITTLE
We'll get there. The farmer's union in Metamengue where we are going, heard about Estamos on the radio. They walked to Lichinga and asked for help. Wells and toilets were installed and now an ongoing relationship has developed whereby they are very interested in the human waste compost for their carrots. You can't keep a good idea down. Oi Oi! Oh look out they're all running. Jeez that would have been a long ride for that bloke. I'm glad we could give him a lift. Here we are, Metamengue. Metamengue! As the utility vans of love entered town, we knew we were making history in this little village today. We guessed that not many London bands had played this gig. And once again, the village erupted into song.
MARK LITTLE
Unfortunately, I'm going to miss this gig, as the traditional leaders of Metamengue are keen for us to be part in an important meeting with a visiting government official. Rude to say no. Empty Boat had travelled thousands of miles on a poo discovery tour and now their audience awaited. We love you Metamengue.
MARK LITTLE
Yes, yes, was there a problem here with hygiene? Is there people getting sick, and is that the reason they got ill? The traditional leaders proceeded to fill me in on their history with Estamos. Before 2000, this village was without water. Now they have five wells. Five clean water points within their village. This has already improved dramatically the way of life here. I then asked if they'd heard of the ecosan human waste compost toilets -- and, as a farmers' union, surely this would interest them. "Of course," they said, but with the cost of the crucial concrete slab being 20 quid [GBP£20, USD$30], it was way out of their price bracket. Finally we were getting to the nub of it: In one of the poorest economies in the world, 20 quid for a toilet was a fortune. The problem and the solution was becoming embarrassingly clear. That our money in the right place would make all the difference.
BANDMEMBER
Delightful. Delightful audience. Just a privilege to be able to play here. Beautiful.
MARK LITTLE
There's always a lot of smiling at our arrival, a sense of celebration and music, but looking around with the level of HIV sufferers in this village alone totaling 40 percent, there is a sense of despair and grief always evident under the surface. And, personally, I felt a great unease at being a visitor from a developed world that lets this happen. Well, we leave Metamengue and what a gig that was out in the middle of the African bush. We spoke to the local Senior regulo, the farmers' association and all they want is clean water, latrines, and for their kids to have fun. What one has to keep reminding oneself is that we're actually in one of the poorest economies in the world but there is so much laughter and fun going on here, you sort of forget. But basic things like just a smoke, you know, an exercise book, things like that, they just don't have them. And it's hard, it's hard for us to get that ... our heads around it cos we come in like "Apocalypse Now," we've got gear and batteries. Like, these little kids they got a dead battery before and it was like gold dust. So, getting a handle on it. See you lads.
MARK LITTLE
Okay. Paramount for hygiene is clean and sustainable water points in the village. To be sustainable, they must be appropriate to local conditions, affordable, and chosen and built by local communities. I'm here at the Lichinga water pump factory. So, Jakesh, can you tell us what we are looking at here?
JAKESH MAHAY
This is a, this is a rope pump. Everything you see here is found, is found here.
MARK LITTLE
Cos that's the definition of sustainable, isn't it? That if something breaks it can be fixed, cos we're dealing with really poor communities here aren't we? Now one thing I've noticed about these things is this: it's got a lid.
JAKESH MAHAY
Yes, this covers it. So basically the idea is that we don't want anything getting in to the water supply. So this covers everything.
MARK LITTLE
Water, the elixir of life -- and death, if you're not careful. It seems that the women do a lot of work when it comes to collecting the water, looking after the kids.
ROSARIA MABICA
In Mozambique, the women are responsible for the well-being of all the family. As such, they have to do all the work, which is related to the well-being of the family. And one of the things they have to do is to have water at home, to look after the kids. Sometimes they have to do a little business to get some money.
MARK LITTLE
Cos I've seen the women walking to the market, they've got incredible loads on their heads, which is another thing altogether. I don't know how they do that.
ROSARIA MABICA
And that's normal. If we provide water near the houses so women can have more time to look after their kids and at the same time we are providing hygiene education so that they can take care better of them.
MARK LITTLE
Right. Ever since I've been a little kid and watched pictures of Africa on the telly and stuff, I've always been fascinated by people with ... can walk -- well women usually -- with this thing on their head, and balance it. I was wondering, do you think they'd let me actually see how heavy a bucket is and put it on my head?
ROSARIA MABICA
Yes, do you want to try?
MARK LITTLE
I need to try
ROSARIA MABICA
You need to try.
MARK LITTLE
Okay, bucket of water weighs 10 pounds. This is like about three buckets' worth. So it's, um ... Hoh, crikey!
ROSARIA MABICA
So, how is it?
MARK LITTLE
It's heavy. It's heavy, really heavy. I wouldn't even consider taking my hands off this. Oh! Oops, sorry.
ROSARIA MABICA
Just put it down!
MARK LITTLE
Oh, chihuahua. Oh I'm so sorry, I spilt some. Yeah, yeah: headache. Oh well. Increased education, particularly of girls, is accepted as a key means of breaking the cycle of poverty. But, when children spend hours each day helping their mothers collect water, there is often no time left for education. This problem is exacerbated by water-related illnesses preventing children from going to school, few funds for schooling made worse by medical bills, and the lack of toilets in schools, especially for girls. Furthermore, if relatives fall sick, girls will often stay at home to care for them, and so are even less likely to attend school than boys. Water, sanitation, and hygiene projects can reverse all these trends and enable children to go to school more often and learn better in a cleaner, healthier environment. Fewer diseases and more water mean that people are properly hydrated and are able to concentrate and study better.
MARK LITTLE
Well, it's quite incredible, we've not so much arrived unannounced, but they don't know we're coming. It's very hard, as you know. We're about 60 kilometers outside Lichinga, it took us about three hours, it's remote, and we are here about to play a gig. The thing is about what's happening here is that Estamos want to get out to this village. They've only been out here about a year. They want more involvement from this village with Estamos, so this project for us is actually doing what it set out to do and we're putting Estamos in places that they want to be. And it's all with the power of music. Let's go dancing, in the African bush. Mozambiquee!
MARK LITTLE
Come on, stop mucking around Mark: it's time to talk serious pump. Now here we are at the water pump. How long has this water pump been here?
JAKESH MAHAY
They're saying July of this year, they started getting ...
MARK LITTLE
Okay, was there a water point here before, or did they have to go ...
JAKESH MAHAY
There's a river over there where they used to get water from. When the water level used to go down at the river, they could see the insects in the water. They'd drink that water and they'd get sick from that, principally diarrhea.
MARK LITTLE
Does the whole village use this pump?
JAKESH MAHAY
Yeah, the whole village uses it. So they're saying what they need now is a bar to come across here so they can lock it either end so this doesn't come off.
MARK LITTLE
Fantastic. And that's something we can take back to Estamos, yep?
JAKESH MAHAY
Yep, yep.
MARK LITTLE
Fantastic. Bon, bon. Look, it's too hot, we need to get in the shade, go and do some dancing. Shall we do that? Yeah, I think we should. Another extraordinary day in the African bush, middle of nowhere. Estamos are so pleased that we've got here. The WaterAid pump's working, it is sustainable, they can fix it if it breaks. It's been there a year, no problems. One thing that Estamos are very pleased with is that they want to draw up a list of the villagers here who want a latrine. They're very keen to get latrines here, so they're very keen to get Estamos here. WaterAid are keen to get Estamos here as well. It's all working. And the bloke had the most fantastic homemade banjo I've ever seen in me life. And he could play it. And he could sing. I like it in the bush.

Segment 3

MARK LITTLE
We've seen the effects of remoteness and distance on sanitation in rural Mozambique. Now the poo tour is heading south to the capital Maputo, to see how high-density population impacts on sanitation. How do the boys from the bush cope in the big city? Now, there's an old Australian expression, the city or the bush. Well we've done the bush, that's for sure. Now we're in the capital city of Mozambique, Maputo. And it's going to rock. Lead singer's always last. The band's here. Where's the singer? He's still in the Jacuzzi. We're on our way to the launch of the national Wash Your Hands campaign, held on a football pitch in a suburb known as Barrio de Urbanizacao, a large district of inner city poor. And the in-flight entertainment was exceptional. And Massukos, well, they did what musicians do. They just can't help themselves can they? Here we are. We're in the middle of Maputo, it's all set up. That's the biggest sound system I've seen for a while. The band's here. Massukos have arrived. It's on.
MARK LITTLE
Mozambique proved to be the most vibrant of cultures, music and dance and singing always close to the surface. But Mozambique is a dichotomy, an energetic, resourceful people constantly battling disease and despair. It's a vicious circle. The Barrio de Urbanizacao: 15,000 people living within one square kilometer. Trying to bring an infrastructure to the chaos here is a local community organization know as Asasbu. I met Paulino and Pimentel. Pimentel, thanks for inviting us in to your barrio, and to look at the problems here. What are the problems? Pimentel told me straight away to consider the very ground that I was walking on. In the wet season, this inner city suburb was a swamp rife with cholera. Although 100 percent of households in the barrio have latrines, these have to be pumped out. They are not yet linked to the city's main sewage system.
ROSARIA MABICA
They have a serious problem of sanitation here. And people die because of cholera. This barrio ... the main problem of cholera is in this barrio.
MARK LITTLE
Okay, who is the most affected by mosquitoes, cholera, bad sanitation in the population. Is it the children, or older people, who is most affected?
ROSARIA MABICA [translating for Paulino]
Yeah, children are more affected, yet still there are ...
MARK LITTLE
On one hand, the sustainability of basic services depends on the eradication of poverty and the building of a growing economy. While, on the other hand, the provision of basic services is a requirement of poverty eradication. The more I speak to Paulino and Pimentel, the more I realize that breaking this cycle was going to need a very big hammer indeed.
MARK LITTLE
Even the young rapper was warning us that we were here at a good time and that we should dare to come back and make our film in the wet season. So until we get our hands on this mythical hammer, all we can do is chip away, bit by bit. Empty Boat are doing their bit, helping launch a nationwide Wash Your Hands campaign and organizers say that these simple hygiene concerts are as important as the toilets themselves. And now, all the way from the Niassa province, the boys from the bush, the one and only ... what are they called again?
MC
Massukos! Massukos! Massukos!
MARK LITTLE
Massukos were more than a band. Their energy and commitment and desire to take a simple message to the people of Mozambique was inspirational. For not only did they gig, they got their hands dirty out and about in their local community, proving that direct community action will work every time. We'd all been inspired and uplifted today and left with a deep sense of reflection on our amazing two weeks here.
DEAN BRODRICK [Empty Boat]
It's beyond everything that you can talk about really. There's something super special about the people that live here. It's beyond a dream for me to come here. It's fantastic.
MARK LITTLE
This has been my first trip to Africa, and as I stand on a Maputan beach at dawn with a peculiarly balmy winter breeze caressing my very soul, it does feel like a dream. But, for far too many people of Mozambique, the lack of basic human requirements, like a toilet and clean drinking water, can make life here beyond a nightmare. It's our last day in Mozambique and we're heading to the Costa Do Sol, a fishing village just north of Maputo. It seems idyllic until one is made aware of the extent of death, dying, and suffering here due to the lack of clean water. Once a playground for the jet set, the Costa Do Sol, like most of Mozambique, has had its basic infrastructure quite literally blown apart. And, as usual in these scenarios, it is the poor who are left to their own devices. Six thousand people live here with only five working water points. In plain English, that means between 6,000 people in this village, there are five taps.
MAN
Cholera comes every year here?
ROSARIA MABICA
Yes.
MAN
And in the cholera season, this gets infected.
ROSARIA MABICA
Yeah.
MAN
But if it was sealed like we saw previously, if it is sealed where the cups go down and bring the water up, does that make a difference?
ROSARIA MABICA
Yeah, I think so.
MARK LITTLE
At global summits on sustainability and development, sanitation is often de-prioritized because, ridiculously, no one likes talking about poo. It's time for leaders of the so-called developed world to catch up and come to terms with this silent emergency. Just over 100 years ago, Britain led the way in sanitation and the eradication of water-borne diseases such as cholera and dysentery. We can lead the way again. This is Johannesburg, 2002. It says here that they should half, by the year 2015, the proportion of the world's peoples whose income is less than one dollar a day. And, by the same date, to half the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water. Are these targets realistic?
ROSARIA MABICA [translating for Pimentel]
It's going to be really difficult, because he thinks that government, the civil society, and the international community has to be really involved if we want to have this result. But it's going to be really difficult.
MARK LITTLE
These are all words, you know, nations, agreements, and everything. But, bottom line, Pimentel's there in these areas ... bottom line, what is needed most now, straight away?
ROSARIA MABICA [translating for Pimentel]
He thinks that what's needed, just everyone must be committed to solve this problem. Everyone must be. That's really, really important if we want to have some good results.
MARK LITTLE
Everyone?
ROSARIA MABICA
Yeah.
MARK LITTLE
Everyone. Everyone. Everyone. What an extraordinary trip. What an extraordinary country. I bought this little exercise book at Lichinga market. Property of the Malawi government, not for sale: 3,000 meticais. Three thousand meticais, that's the price of a box of matches in Maputo. Just over five pence in Great Britain. Now, when we were at Metamengue, I gave the Senior Regulo, the traditional leader, five of these little books as a personal token of my respect for his honesty and hospitality, and they were received and treasured for his school. And it was only then that I realized, that these are the people that the United Nations talks about as the most impoverished people on the planet, who are earning a lot less than a dollar a day. And even being in the village, it's hard to get your head around it. As a group, we've had to confront our own prejudices, preconceptions about Africa, but we're here at a good time. Six months of the year, Mozambique is wet, well wet. Cholera, malaria are rife ... diarrhea and dysentery ... life is miserable. And it's only by coming to Mozambique, seeing the work of WaterAid and its partners, that one can begin to make sense of this dreadful situation. WaterAid's desire to have clean water points, sustainable water points within the village make sense. The work of Estamos in Niassa rural province with human waste compost makes sense. Massukos, singing songs about washing your hands makes sense. Not showing compassion for the most impoverished people on the planet makes no sense and is wrong. There are problems but, yes, there are solutions. We've seen within Mozambique, some of the most radical innovations within sustainability that could eventually help us all. And it is, it is only arrogance that will lead us to believe that we can learn nothing here. Yes we have, we've seen the poor sanitation, the lack of just clean drinking water are two of the world's biggest killers, but I think we've also seen conclusively, that the world's biggest killer is ignorance. Adios, Mozambiquee. Obrigado. Bon.
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