Kinuuma Community is located in Masindi County of Uganda. It's one and a half kilometers away from the busy Masindi-Kampala Highway. GPS coordinates are estimates during the early stages of this project. We also estimate there to be at least 45 households who rely on surface water here.
People here either practice farming, business, or a mix of both. The farmers wake up as early as 6M to go tend to their tomatoes and bananas. This produce is sold at Kwatamwana Market every Monday, or is brought all the way to Masindi Town. Other adults go to the trading center to run retail stalls.
As the sun begins to set, people make their way back to their household gardens to work for a bit. After gardening and dinner, many men meet in the trading center for socializing and drinks. Women tend to stay home to prepare their families for the following day.
There is a great spirit of teamwork in Kinuuma Community, with people gathering around those who need support.
Water is fetched from the closest water source, located about one kilometer away from the center of the community. This surface water is swampy and highly contaminated. Unfortunately, community members have no other option; the water must be used for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and all other domestic needs.
Locals bring plastic jerrycans to dunk and fill at the swamp. Children often just carry a cup to get a quick drink. Before dunking a container in the water, algae must be pushed aside.
Waterborne disease is an issue, especially for the children. There are constant complaints of stomach pain accompanied with diarrhea.
Under half of households in Kinuuma have their own pit latrine, which means several families must either share their facilities or use the privacy of bushes. With the attraction of flies and rainy weather, this human waste is spread throughout the village.
We met Mr. Geofrey Kalibagwa, a local farmer who acknowledges that open defecation is an issue in his village. He stresses that "the issue of low latrine coverage in the community is going to be handled on a serious note so as to fight diseases."
Discussions about sanitation have already begun. As seen in a picture under "See Photos & Video," a local family built a dish rack and then shared that information with their neighbors.
Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training
The main objectives are the use of latrines and observing proper hygiene practices, since these goals are inherently connected to the provision of clean water. Open defecation, water storage in unclean containers and the absence of hand-washing are all possible contaminants of a household water supply. Each participating village must achieve Open Defecation Free status (defined by one latrine per household), prior to the pump installation for a shallow hand-dug well.
This social program includes the assignment of one Community Development Officer (CDO) to each village. The CDO encourages each household to build an ideal homestead that includes: a latrine, hand-washing facility, a separate structure for animals, rubbish pit and drying rack for dishes.
We also implement the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach with each of our village partners. This aims 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 the practice of 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.
Plans: Hand-Dug Well
The community will participate in excavating and constructing the water source. In the meantime the aim is that all households own an improved latrine. When there is open defecation, feces spread all over the village, which leads to waterborne diseases and contamination of groundwater and surface water. Our aim is that the community is able to live a healthy life free of preventable diseases. We endeavor that at the end of our presence in the community, people will have both access to sustainable, clean water and access to sanitation. We have now organized families to form digging groups for latrine construction, and empowered them with tools to use.
Actual well construction will take four to six weeks if there are no challenges. The well will be lined with bricks and sealing clay, and finished with a Consallen pump.
Thank You for partnering with us to get clean water to the people living in Kinuuma Community!