This project is a part of our shared program with The Water Trust. Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).
Opok I Pamone lies at the periphery of Murchison Falls National Park with scattered homesteads as close as one kilometer into the National Park. This village is predominantly flat land with areas that flood during rainy seasons. Most of the residents of the village are Acholi tribe who migrated from the northern part of the country due to the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency. These settlers were allocated land close to the park because the alternative land far away from the park had been occupied by the indigenous people. Mr. Ochopi John says that elephants from the park occasionally stray into their garden plots and destroy crops. Poaching is one of the activities of residents, especially the men, although the Uganda Wildlife authority (UWA) closely guards the park with orders to shoot whoever is found hunting animals.
Residents of this village draw water from open shallow wells dug in the nearby swamps which are completely unprotected and are receptacles for all the surface run-off from the village which is full of human and animal waste contaminants. These contaminants are the main cause of dangerous but preventable diseases in the community.
Upon hearing about The Water Trust during a radio talk show broadcast on one of the local FM radio stations, the community, led by their chairman Mr. Ochopi John, wrote a letter to The Water Trust requesting a protected water source.
The Water Trust (TWT) will have an intensive program to provide access to clean water and sanitation in this village. The community will participate in excavating and constructing the water source. In the meantime, the aim is that all households own an improved latrine. Many households do not use a latrine but use the bush. Due to the practice of open defecation, faeces is spread all over the village and contaminates open water sources. Our aim is to ensure that the community is able to live a healthy life, free of preventable waterborne diseases. We strive to work in partnership with the community to access safe clean water and improved sanitation.
SANITATION AND HYGIENE STRATEGY
The main objectives of TWT's Sanitation and Hygiene Program are the use of latrines and observing proper hygiene practices as these goals are inherently connected to the provision of clean water. Open defecation, water storage in unclean containers, and the absence of hand washing at critical times are all possible contaminants to the water supply at the household level. TWT leverages this relationship by requiring each participating village to achieve Open Defecation Free status (defined as one latrine per household) prior to the pump installation for a shallow hand dug well. Using the immediate gratification of clean water as an impetus, TWT works toward sustainable, interdisciplinary WASH development.
The Water Trust’s social program includes the assignment of one Community Development Officer (CDO) per village. The CDO encourages each household to build an ideal homestead that includes: a latrine with hand-washing facility, a rubbish pit, a separate structure for animals, and a drying rack for dishes.
Community Led Total Sanitation
The Water Trust implements the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach with each of our village partners. TWT facilitates a CLTS session in which we aim to improve the sanitation and hygiene practices and behaviors of a village. During these sessions, village leaders naturally emerge and push the community to realize that the current practices of individual households – particularly open defecation– are not only unhealthy, but affect the entire village. CLTS facilitates a process in which community members realize the negative consequences of their current water, sanitation, and hygiene behaviors and are inspired to take action. Group interactions are frequent motivators for individual households to: build latrines, use the latrines, and demand that other households do the same.
June 12, 2015
Today we delivered Christopher the technician to the community and siting was conducted. A suitable location was identified. We also flagged off excavation work and the community is in full participation.
June 19, 2015
Christopher and the community have excavated up to the water table which was struck at 16ft deep. All community contributions of materials have been delivered to site. Community participation is good.
June 27, 2015
Excavation though the aquifer is progressing through the 22nd foot with good participation from the community.
July 6, 2015
At 24 feet deep with a water column of 8 feet, excavation work was stopped after confirming a very high recharge. Two drain buckets have been assigned to this site to over come the high recharge, especially at the time when the technician is bricking up the walls. One thousand bricks and half a trip of sand have been added as extra materials.
July 13, 2015
All masonry work has been concluded and the cement well pad has been covered to cure as we arrange for pump installation.
July 23, 2015
The pump has been installed and the village is excited about the new development.