Tag Archives: Uganda

Comparative assessment of sanitation and hygiene policies and institutional frameworks in Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania

Comparative assessment of sanitation and hygiene policies and institutional frameworks in Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania, 2016. 

Authors: Nelson Ekane, Nina Weitz, Björn Nykvist, Petter Nordqvist and Stacey Noel. Stockholm Environment Institute.

This paper presents a comparative assessment of the sanitation policy and institutional frameworks in Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania based on a set of recommended criteria that comprehensive and supportive sanitation policies should meet. This assessment finds that the policies in Rwanda, Uganda, and Tanzania meet many of the recommended criteria, but are still lacking key aspects to adequately cater for sustainability of services and functionality of facilities.

Further, policies should reflect the needs and preferences of people. This is usually not the case because policies are very ambitious and hard to fully translate to action. Despite the existence of policies, the implementation process is flawed in many ways, and two key gaps are the lack or inadequate financing for sanitation, and serious lack of technical capacity, especially at the district level.

Furthermore, the assessment shows that the policy and institutional framework for sanitation and hygiene differs from country to country. Rwanda and Uganda have separate sanitation and hygiene policies while Tanzania is still in the process of developing a separate sanitation policy. The paper also shows that even though there are still serious shortfalls shortfalls that hindered the achievement of the sanitation MDG in Uganda and Tanzania in particular, major reforms in the sector have undoubtedly contributed to improved sector performance in all the three countries.

Regionally, access to improved sanitation in SSA is on a gradual increase while the practice of open defecation is decreasing. On a country level, however, there are significant variations in performance between countries, with countries like Rwanda making remarkable progress in sanitation and hygiene coverage.

Waste to Wealth: Helping to Close the Sanitation Financing Gap in Rural Communities and Small Towns

Waste to Wealth: Helping to Close the Sanitation Financing Gap in Rural Communities and Small Towns | Source: Solutions Journal, Feb 2016 |

Waste to Wealth is a Ugandan initiative created in partnership with the Ministry of Water and Environment, its water and wastewater utility (the National Water and Sewerage Corporation), and other government, NGO, and academic partners. The concept is simple—to use modern bioenergy technologies to convert human and other organic wastes into resources that will provide economic benefits and improved environment and human health.

wastetowealth

The results of using EcoSan fertilizer on maize in South Nyanza, Kenya. No fertilizer was used on the left, while fertilizer from EcoSan toilet systems was used on the right. Both sections of maize were planted at the same time.

The biogas and slurry left from energy conversion will be used as a resource with economic value to provide a return on the investment in AD technology. The concept is an innovative and transformative technology-based approach to managing human wastes and providing sanitation services in low income countries.

Key Concepts

  • Human waste contains significant amounts of organic material that can be digested by specific bacteria in oxygen-free environments.
  • The byproducts from this digestion process can be used as energy for cooking, lighting, and generating electricity.
  • Revenue or savings from the sale or use of these products provides financing to pay back up-front capital costs.

Read the complete article.

Toilet touring in Uganda: experiencing the true spirit of Community-Led Total Sanitation

Patrick England, who recently joined the Global Sanitation Fund secretariat, travelled to Uganda to participate in a learning exchange mission. The mission turned out to be a unique opportunity to experience the true spirit of community-led total sanitation (CLTS). Read about his experiences below.

Representatives from Madagascar’s Fond d’Appui pour l’Assainissement (FAA) programme demonstrating CLTS facilitation in Amuria District. Credit: Patrick England/WSSCC

Representatives from Madagascar’s Fond d’Appui pour l’Assainissement (FAA) programme demonstrating CLTS facilitation in Amuria District. Credit: Patrick England/WSSCC

When I first entered the field of international development, I had no idea that ‘shit’ would become a standard part of my professional vocabulary. But as a Portfolio Support Analyst with the WSSCC’s Global Sanitation Fund (GSF), my mission is to discover and document everything about shit: how communities are dealing with it, and how to support our programme partners to tackle the world’s growing sanitation and hygiene crisis. So in June 2015, I received my first opportunity to become a professional toilet tourist with the GSF during a cross-programme exchange to Uganda.

Just prior to my Ugandan journey, I was working with Concern Universal, the GSF Executing Agency in Nigeria. I supported the development of case studies and lessons learned for the GSF-supported Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion in Nigeria programme, which carries out Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) activities in the south-east of the country. Similar to Uganda, Nigeria’s GSF-supported programme is fully owned and implemented by government agencies. However, for local officials and civil servants, the participatory, spontaneous, and dynamic ethos of CLTS often runs in direct contrast to decades of enforcing toilet construction. Not only must CLTS trigger improved sanitation and hygiene behaviour in communities themselves, but it must also trigger government authorities to create enabling environments for communities to climb the sanitation ladder.

CLTS learning journeys converge: the GSF cross-programme exchange
Dazed after two days of travel from Calabar to Kampala, I met my new Uganda colleagues in the rural district of Pallisa. Accompanying them was a delegation from Madagascar’s GSF-supported programme. While much could be written on this band of Malagasy medical doctors-cum-sanitation crusaders, let’s just say that they definitely know their ‘shit’. For them, CLTS isn’t just an approach to increase sanitation coverage and reduce under-five mortality; it’s an action-affirmative philosophy that underpins a movement to improve the health of entire countries. Most importantly, this movement must be wholly owned by communities themselves – a point continuously emphasized throughout our district visits in Uganda.

Map of districts visited in Uganda, based on image retrieved on d-maps.com.

Map of districts visited in Uganda, based on image retrieved on d-maps.com.

Our exchange crossed the entire country – from the shores of Lake Victoria to the jungles along the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo – working alongside District Health Office staff to improve their CLTS approach. Led by the Malagasy doctors, each visit comprised a systematic review of existing practices, a hands-on demonstration of best-practice triggering and follow-up, and a critical self-analysis by health staff to enhance their community engagement. As was the case in Nigeria where decades of latrine enforcement and health sensitization failed to achieve any notable impact, this intensive learning process focused on ‘de-programming’ the old behaviours of local government facilitators.

Compared to Nigeria, where 25 percent of the population practices open defecation, Uganda has a relatively high level of sanitation coverage (where seven percent practice open defecation)[1]. This was made evident by the number of well-built latrines I observed during our visits to rural communities. Until then, I never entertained the notion that a toilet could be beautiful: walls carefully smoothed and polished, meticulously patterned with charcoal and red mud paint, all topped with round thatch roofs. One elderly woman in Koboko District proudly demonstrated how she used a local weed to give her latrine’s mud floor a glossy sheen. However, the presence of toilets – even those ornately designed – did not mean that these communities were open defecation free (ODF). These latrines frequently went unused, especially during planting and harvesting seasons, while a lack of adequate fly-proof covers and handwashing facilities meant that these community members were still unintentionally eating their own, and others’, shit.

Read the full blog on the WSSCC website

#MenstruationMatters in Bangladeshi schools

28 May is Menstrual Hygiene Day. In Bangladesh, BRAC field staff are working hard to “end the hesitation around menstruation” especially in schools.

BRAC staff member (left) from Jessore district with sanitary napkins for schools.

BRAC staff member (left) from Jessore district with sanitary napkins for schools. Photo: Petra Brussee/IRC

Field staff of BRAC WASH in Bangladesh talk just as easily about menstrual hygiene as they do about water seals for toilets or hand pumps. At community level menstrual hygiene messages are included in the programme for adolescent girls and young women. Since 2006 about 45 million community cluster meetings have been organised.

In rural areas rags are used by women who cannot afford sanitary napkins. Field staff discuss menstrual hygiene with adolescent girls and young women, for example on how to wash rags with soap and dry them in the sun. They are also encouraged to speak up about menstrual hygiene says Abu Taleb Biswas of BRAC WASH in Hygiene Promotion – the backbone of BRAC WASH: “Women and adolescent girls learn to speak up about menstrual hygiene issues, something that was nearly unthinkable even a few years ago.”

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Uganda – 1st National Conference on Menstrual Hygiene Management, 2014

The theme of the conference was Break the Silence on Menstruation, Keep the Girls in School. menstruation_health_book-2

Author: Netwas Uganda

The conference had 4 objectives; a) to raise awareness on the impact of poor menstrual management, b) advocate for policy review, c) develop strategies for operationalizing existing policy, d) demonstrate sustainable good practices on menstrual management. The overall aim was to explore how best the School Health Policy can ensure girls get all the support they need to complete school and reach their full potential.

Innovative communal sanitation models for the urban poor: Lessons from Uganda

Innovative communal sanitation models for the urban poor: Lessons from Uganda, 2014.

Authors: Greg Bachmayer, Noah Shermbrucker. SHARE.

This paper describes the construction and management processes related to two toilet blocks in Uganda, one in Jinja and one in Kampala. Designs, financial models and insights into the process and challenges faced are presented and reflected on. Discussions about scaling up sanitation provision through these models are also tabled. To strengthen their planning processes, the Ugandan federation sought to draw on other community driven processes in India and Malawi. With divergent contexts, especially in terms of density, lessons were adapted to local conditions. SHARE_ResearchReport_Uganda_final-20

Through unpacking these experiences the paper draws attention to a number of key points. Firstly it argues that organised communities have the potential to develop functional and sustainable systems for the planning, construction and management of communal toilet blocks. Secondly, how shared learning, practical experience and exchanges driven by communities assisted in refining the sanitation systems and technologies piloted and thirdly the value, especially in terms of scale and leverage of including City Authorities in the provision of communal sanitation. A fourth key point, interwoven across discussions, relates to the financial planning, costing and affordability of the sanitation options piloted. Understanding the seed capital investments needed and various options for cost recovery is vital in assessing the affordability and scalability of pilots.

The paper mixes one of the co-author’s reflections (written in first person) with descriptions and analysis of the sanitation projects supported. This narrative method is deployed to emphasise the collegiate manner in which learning takes place across a country-spanning network of urban poor communities.

Female parliamentarians want free sanitary pads for Uganda’s schoolgirls

Uganda’s female parliamentarians led by controversial Speaker of Parliament Hon. Rebecca Kadaga have called on the government to provide sanitary pads for all schoolgirls in the Universal Primary Education (UPE) programme. Kadaga launched her call at the Annual General Meeting  of the Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) on 16 May 2014.

Cover MHM study UgandaThe call was spurred by IRC’s research with SNV in Ugandan schools, which showed there is a higher likelihood of adolescent girls staying home during their periods. Girls in the 140 schools surveyed reported missing from 8 to 24 school days per year, resulting in lagging behind or some dropping out of school.

In August this year, IRC will present results from the Uganda study at the Menstrual Hygiene Management Conference taking place in Kampala, Uganda. NETWAS Uganda and partners are organising this event to encourage learning about what can be done to improve menstrual management in schools, institutions and communities.

Source:

  • Marielle Snel and Carmen da Silva Wells, Why focus on menstrual hygiene management?, IRC,, 27 May 2013
  • Olive Eyotaru, Include girls’ sanitary pads in UPE pack, Kadaga says, Daily Monitor, 18 May 2014
  • Editorial, Support low-cost sanitary pad drive, Daily Monitor, 20 May 2014
  • Support Uganda’s low-cost sanitary pad drive, SNV Uganda, 23 May 2014