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).
Kihonda Mihangaizima is a sub-village of Kihonda local council I, the village that hosts The Masindi Agriculture Demonstration Center (MADEC) where farmers from the whole district come to learn the best farming practices. It is the same place where Masindi district local government conducts annual district agricultural exhibitions which have helped residents around this village and the entire sub-county to emerge as commercial farmers. Located 15 kilometers from Masindi town center on the road that leads to Murchison Falls National Park, this village is known for cereal production as it is endowed with fertile soil. Everyone in the village lends a hand working the garden plots, including children over school holidays.
Whereas this village has been transformed into a model agriculture center for the sub-county, it has remained starved of access to clean water where the majority rely on fetching water from open sources which are shared with wildlife from the National Park a few kilometers away. Poor sanitation conditions like open defecation in the bush instead of using a latrine have made communities vulnerable to waterborne diseases like bilharzia, diarrhea, dysentery and typhoid. Mr. Byaruhanga Asaph (47 years), the village chairman and a father of nine children, says that water born diseases are rampant in his village, yet they can be avoided through a protected water source which the community has applied for through the village chairman.
There will be 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 are spread all over the village and contaminate 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.
HYGIENE AND SANITATION STRATEGY
The main objectives of the 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 contaminates to the water supply at the household level. We leverage this relationship, by requiring each participating village to achieve Open Defecation Free status (defined by 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, the program works toward sustainable, interdisciplinary WASH development.
The 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
We implement the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach with each of our village partners. The team 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 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.
July 20, 2015
Today we delivered Bosco Ubeju the technician and Byaruhanga Sulait his assistant to the community. We also sited and commissioned excavation work
July 25, 2015
Today we hit water at 7 feet deep. This has caused us to suspend this site due to the closeness of the water table to the surface at this spot. Water so close to the surface can lead to contamination. We have re-sited and work is progressing well.
August 03, 2015
Excavation at the new place hit a snag at 7ft deep when they come across human remains. This means they had sited the well on a grave. The technician and the community have re-sited for the third time and work is progressing well.
August 8, 2015
Excavation at the newly re-sited spot is progressing through the 5ft foot and the soil formation is very hard. So far 2 pick axes have broken due to the hard formation but this has not affect the support from the community as they have continued to excavate with zeal.
August 17, 2015
Today we hit water 17 feet deep and the excavating team is happy about this development. Soil formation is still hard to the extent that 3 pick axes have broken. The community has mobilized all their contribution of locally available materials and they await delivery which we are coordinating.
August 23, 2015
Work at this site is on course as excavation is progressing through the aquifer. Recharge is high and a pump is constantly in use to drain out the high volumes of water. The concrete well pad has also been cast.
August 29, 2015
All masonry work at this project has been concluded and we have covered it to cure. The well is 24ft deep and has a water column of 7ft.
September 9, 2015
Today we chlorinated the well ahead of installation.
November 17, 2015
Today we returned to this village for installation which was a success! The community is now enjoying clean and safe water from this project!
Thank you to all who made this project possible!