Rubona Village is located in Masindi District, Uganda. These community members are known for sugarcane farming, which they sell to the nearby Kinayara Sugar Factory. The money they earn from this is used to pay school fees and look after the family. Food crops like maize, beans and cassava are also grown to support the family, and the surplus is always sold in the nearby markets of Bulima and Kisalizi Market which opens every Thursday.
After farming at about 1pm, the women return home to prepare lunch for their school-going children. Most children study at Bulima Primary School (a government-aided school), and there are also many private schools around the trading center. Meanwhile, the men go out to the trading center to look for other ways of earning money so as to sustain their families. Some deal in retail business (shop attendants), while others repair bicycles and motorcycles. Other men remain at home to rest as they get ready to go back to the farm in the evening (at about 5pm).
After the afternoon work, the men go to the trading center to socialize with friends until the sun sets. Others go to the football field at Bulima Primary School to either play or watch others play. The women on the other hand are at home preparing supper for the family.
It's normal to retire to bed at about 10pm to get enough rest so that they are ready to wake up at 6am the next day.
People here rely on an open water source to meet all of their needs. This water source looks like a big, cloudy puddle where water has bubbled up from the ground and mingled with rainwater. The water both smells and tastes bad, and is further contaminated by the jerrycans people dunk under the surface to fill. Community members say that they suffer from diarrhea after drinking this water, with the young children most seriously affected.
Julius Babyesiza said that "the water is so smelly and changes color during the rainy season."
Less than half of households have a pit latrine. Most of the latrines we observed are made of temporary materials such as plant materials, rice bags, etc. Many of these are about to collapse. Because of this poor latrine coverage, open defecation is a big issue here.
Here’s what we’re going to do about it:
Training’s 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.
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 open defecation, feces are spread all over the village. This 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.
This project is a part of our shared program with The Water Trust. Our team is pleased to provide the reports for this project (formatted and edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Uganda.