Kitulu Community is a rural area where people practice agriculture on a small scale. Almost every home has at least one cow, and people are seen moving around to get animal feed and work on farms. Noises of livestock and other animals mooing and calling fills the air. Water vending is also a thriving business in this area, wherein people charge a fee to find water for others.
A normal day is full of activities like fetching water, selling goods in the marketplace, working on the farms, and feeding animals. People wake up as early as 5 am to start milking cows and for children prepare to go to school, and everyone is always asleep by 10 pm.
Most community members have fixed gutters on their roofs to help harvest rainwater that is collected in buckets and then carried into the house. But when there are no rains, community members must fetch water from the unprotected spring. The containers used to harvest rainwater are so small that even if it rains people are still seen going to fetch water from Kiduve Spring the following day.
Kiduve Spring has bubbled to the surface where people wade into the water and dunk their containers until full. All rubbish from the environment is swept into this open spring and the community members do not handle that water properly as they should. Drinking this dirty water results in waterborne illnesses like typhoid that are expensive for these farmers to treat.
"Our biggest problem is the shortage of safe, clean, and adequate water. We have suffered various types of waterborne diseases such as diarrhea cases from time to time. We request [you] to help us get access to safe water to help our community evade diseases spread through the unsafe water that we have been taking," said Mr. Fanson.
What we can do:
Kiduve Spring serves homes in this community and also traders at Bukuga Market Center. Many water vendors make a living by coming here to fetch water that they sell in Bukuga market. People from neighboring villages come here to draw water during the dry season when the springs in their own villages dry up.
Fetching water is predominantly a female role, done by both women and young girls. Protecting the spring and offering training and support will, therefore, help empower the female members of the community by giving them more time and efforts to engage and invest in income-generating activities.
Protecting the spring will ensure that the water is safe, adequate, and secure. Construction will keep surface runoff and other contaminants out of the water. There will be stairs down to the collection point and a pipe that can easily fill water containers. With the community’s high involvement in the process, there should be a good sense of responsibility and ownership for the new clean water source.
"I must confess that we are very poor in sanitation and hygiene. There is a need for change in our community so that we start living in a clean environment for our own good," said Mr. Evance.
Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least two days. This training will ensure participants have the knowledge they need about healthy practices and their importance. The facilitator plans to use PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation), CLTS (Community-Led Total Sanitation), ABCD (Asset-Based Community Development), group discussions, handouts, and demonstrations at the spring. One of the most important topics we plan to cover is the handling, storage, and treatment of water. Having a clean water source will be extremely helpful, but it is useless if water gets contaminated by the time it’s consumed.
Training will also result in the formation of a committee that will oversee operations and maintenance at the spring. They will enforce proper behavior around the spring and delegate tasks that will help preserve the site, such as building a fence and digging proper drainage. The fence will keep out destructive animals, and the drainage will keep the area’s mosquito population at a minimum.
Latrines are poorly built and rarely cleaned, and some households don't even have one. Latrines are not cleaned often because they're made of mud and wood. If the floors get wet they may rot and put the user in danger of falling through to the pit.
On the final day of training, participants will select five families that should most benefit from new cement latrine floors.
Training will also inform the community and selected families on what they need to contribute to make this project a success. They must mobilize locally available materials, such as bricks, clean sand, hardcore, and ballast. The five families chosen for sanitation platforms must prepare by sinking a pit for the sanitation platforms to be placed over. All community members must work together to make sure that accommodations and food are always provided for the work teams.