Tag Archives: Uganda

Over 4,000 hand washing SMS pledges from two districts in Uganda

Over 4,000 pledges were generated from local people in Sembabule and  Mityana districts In Uganda  within a period of a week after 15 October  who texted the word ‘PLEDGE’’ to 8181. With that they showed their commitment to wash their hands with soap. In reply, a message was sent back to them educating them about the importance of washing hands as one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, which together are responsible for the majority of child deaths

Text to Change provided a platform for this, partnering with USAID through STRIDES for Family Health and Unilever Uganda to promote healthy communities through a Global Hand Washing Day celebration on 15 October 2011. Amsterdam-based TTC is a nonprofit organization that uses sophisticated mobile phone technology to send out and receive information on health and other vital issues in developing countries.

During the Uganda event, the community was taught the importance of hand washing through demonstrations by the health workers. Dr Paul Kagwa, a Commissioner at the Ministry of Health was the chief guest who also demonstrated the full process of effectively washing hands with soap.

Source: Text to Change, 19 Oct 2011

Uganda: Teacher falls in pit latrine as he looks for cockroaches

A teacher from St. Mary’s College, Aboke, in northern Uganda fell in a pit latrine as he looked for cockroaches for a biology practical lesson.

Newspaper New Vision reported that the teacher was given money to buy 80 cockroaches for the lesson (from where it doesn’t say), but he decided to pocket the money and look for specimens himself in a pit latrine. He had already collected 40 cockroaches before he fell in. A “good Samaritan” who came to his rescue said it took an hour to pull the teacher out of the latrine.

A eye witness claimed the teacher had drunk some local brew with his colleagues before embarking on his cockroach search.

The teacher sustained minor injuries and was admitted to a clinic in the neighouring district of Lira.

St. Mary’s College in Aboke gained international attention when 139 of its female secondary school students were abducted by rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) on 10 October 1996. The Aboke abductions became one of the most widely known horror stories of the entire conflict.

Source: New Vision, 30 Jul 2011

Uganda: free sanitary pad school project

School children (both girls and boys) in Uganda’s northern Amuru and Gulu regions are being taught how to make sanitary pads using cheap, locally available materials. This is one of the measures being undertaken to increase girls’ retention in primary schools.  Only 38 per cent of eligible girls are enrolled in primary schools in Gulu in 2011, against a national rate of 70 per cent.

Pupils take measurements of a cotton cloth to be used to make sanitary pads. Photo: Charles Akena/IRIN

The reusable sanitary pads are made from soft cotton cloth covered with polythene to protect leakage. The pads can  be washed and last several months. Local shops stock sanitary pads that cost on average 5,000 Ugandan shillings (about US$2.50) a packet, which is too expensive for most rural families in northern Uganda.

Besides a lack of sanitary pads, few or no private toilet facilities for girls as well as a shortage of female teachers are said to contribute to adolescent girls’ absenteeism from school.

Development partners are helping to build changing rooms for girls in some schools, training female teachers on guidance and counselling skills and are supporting the production and free distribution of sanitary pads.

At Awich Primary School, where the project was launched in 2010, girls’ enrolment has increased from 268 in 2010 to 310 in 2011.

Source: IRIN, 21 Jul 2011

Briefing Note on Mapping EU Support for Sanitation in Africa

The Briefing Note “Mapping EU Support for Sanitation in Africa”, published by the EU Water Initiative (EUWI) Africa Working Group, is based on a full study by WEDC in association with Hydroconseil. The purpose of the study is to obtain an overview of the status of the involvement of EU Member States and the European Commission in sanitation-related activities in Africa. It is anticipated that the findings of this work will have the potential to be used for both arguing for greater priority for sanitation within the international architecture and also for individual donors to use in discussing their own Official Development Assistance (ODA).

Continue reading

Brisbane WASH Conference 2011 presentations on hygiene and sanitation

Dr Val Curtis

“The most cost-effectiveness intervention for improving public health [is] improving hygiene promotion [and] without change in hygiene behaviour, we get none of the benefits of water, none of the benefits of sanitation”. This was one of the messages that Dr Val Curtis conveyed in her introduction to the session on “Behavioral change and social sustainability” at the WASH Conference 2011 (download audio of her presentation).

Some 224 conference delegates from over 100 organisations in 40 countries came to Brisbane, Australia for the WASH Conference 2011. Below is a selection of the presentations on sanitation – powerpoints + audio files – given on 16-17 May. (If you have never heard him speak before, don’t miss the presentation by CLTS-guru Kamal Kar). The presentation streams dealt with institutional, environmental, social and financial sustainability respectively.

Most of the presentations were about Asia, the focus area of conference co-organiser/sponsor AusAid. There were also a few presentations from Africa, a region where AusAid is looking to expand its WASH activities (see AusAid focus regions/countries).

WASH Conference 2011 presentations on sanitation


Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), Origin, Spread and Scaling up
Presented by Kamal Kar
Slideshare presentation | Download audio

Planning Behaviour Change: Chances and Challenges
Presented by Dr. Christine Sijbesma, IRC
Slideshare presentationDownload audio

Continue reading

WaterAid – World Toilet Day 2010: Uganda

How Katine’s residents got clean water and sanitation

The installation of more boreholes means many Katine residents once forced to drink from local swamps now have access to clean water. But a year-long strike by health volunteers has delayed progress on sanitation, says Sarah Boseley.

It’s been raining in Katine. The genteel English expression doesn’t do it justice. One moment the sun is out, the next instant the sky darkens and whole bathfuls of water tip from the skies. People flatten themselves against the mud walls of houses if they can. Those who can’t, walking slowly with heavy loads on their heads or cycling with wife and children on the pannier, are drenched in an instant. And it keeps raining. The swamps overflow.

Three years ago, I watched women with yellow jerrycans on their heads wade through the swamp, their skirts gathered up in one hand as best they could. They were on their way to a place where the swamp bubbles. There is a spring beneath. Their pitiful hope was that the water there would be cleaner. In the dry season, they would frequent an old shallow well beside the swamp. In the rains, it disappears, overrun by the high water and full of mud.

Edith Apiango, 23, and her grandmother, Erima Anayo, who says she is around 70, recall how it was. “When it rained, we crossed the swamp. The water came up to here,” says Apiango, drawing a line with her hand just below her hips. “The water there was flowing a bit. We walked 4km. I had a 20-litre jerrycan. I had to rest on the way back. I was very tired because I had to make two journeys.”

Continue reading

Uganda: Museveni warns against toilet fees

President Yoweri Museveni has described the practice of overcharging by operators of public toilet and markets as “parasitism”.

“Instead of developing common facilities in markets, business people make huge money out of people defecating. For somebody to use a toilet in Nakawa market, he must pay sh200 [9 US dollar cents]. This is not acceptable,” he stressed.

Museveni was speaking at the opening of the second national conference of his National Resistance Movement (NRM) party on 11 September 2010.

Running public toilets in towns has become a gold mine, especially in Kampala.

Kampala City Council estimates that there are over 2,550 users of public toilets per day.

According to a recent Saturday Vision survey, public toilet operators in Nakasero market and the Old Taxi Park, for instance, charge sh500 [22 US dollar cents] for bathing, sh200 [9 US dollar cents] ablution, sh300 [14 US dollar cents] long calls and sh200 [9 US dollar cents]  for short calls.

The survey revealed that an operator can make at least sh12,000 per hour just from one item.

Related news: Ghana: toilet wars, WASH news Africa, 12 Feb 2009

Source: New Vision, 14 Sep 2010

USAID Hygiene Improvement Project – Sanitation Marketing for Managers

Sanitation Marketing for Managers: Guidance for Tools and Program Development. July 2010.

Full-text: http://www.hip.watsan.net/page/5007

Developed through HIP’s program in Uganda, this manual provides guidance and tools for designing a sanitation marketing program. It guides professionals in the fields of sanitation and marketing to 1) comprehensively assess the current market for sanitation products and services and (2) use the results of this assessment to design a multi-pronged sanitation marketing strategy.

Katine winner sets standards in national hygiene drive

Katine ‘ideal home’ winner sets standards in national hygiene drive

In a campaign to promote household and personal hygiene in Uganda, a Katine family has won an “ideal homestead” competition. How did they do it?

Almost everything about Charles Adengu’s home tempts you to look again. None more so than the five large, terrace-thatched huts with smooth walls painted with motorcycles, footballs, cattle or juicy-looking pineapples. A sixth, smaller hut, just outside the main compound, looks like a teenager’s fancy dwelling until you are told that it is actually the pit latrine, with a yellow jerry-can for hand-washing suspended from a stick in the ground nearby.

Pit latrine with hand-washing facility in foreground at Charles Adengu's compound. Photograph: Richard M Kavuma

Riding in on a sunny Thursday afternoon, I am struck by the cool, fresh air thanks to numerous trees that cast swaying shadows on the brown earth of an impeccably clean, well-swept compound in Katine, north eastern Uganda. I had not heard of Adengu until I was given his name a few hours earlier by the African Medical Research Foundation (Amref), which with the Guardian is supporting the Katine community development project. Adengu, with his family, is the proud winner of an “ideal home” competition in Katine, and sitting on the brick-bordered veranda of one of the huts, with its smooth, cow dung-plastered floor, I can see why.

“I was happy that my home was selected as the cleanest because I have always tried to have a spacious, clean homestead; even [our] previous homestead was nearly as good as this one,” Adengu tells me later under bright moonlight, after he has returned from grazing cattle.

Besides the cleanliness of the homestead, which is surrounded by hedges, Adengu says the water and sanitation inspectors from both Katine and Soroti district were impressed because they found “everything” that a home should have – pit latrine, bath shelter, rubbish pit, granary, chicken house, rack for utensils, etc.

Continue reading