|Less than 50 per cent of households in Self Help’s Kamuli project area had access to safe and cleaning drinking water when the project first started.|
Yet, the provision of boreholes and protected springs was only a part of the solution being devised and implemented by Self Help and it’s partners, as they sought to end decades of disease and sickness resulting from contaminated water.
A threefold increase in Uganda’s population, from nine to 26 million people in the past quarter-century put huge pressure on natural resources. But Self Help believed that the provision of safe drinking water sources must be tackled hand in hand with the issue of sanitation, if work in this area was to be effective.
Rural youth groups in each of the four sub-counties where the Kamuli project began operating were supported in developing income generating activities around the provision of pit-latrine slabs, which they fabricated from clay and cement, and sold to their local communities.
The young men received training in the manufacture, and by the end of the first year had produced and sold 500 latrine slabs – which are covers for hand-dug toilets, and were sold at a subsidised rate to families in the locality.
Once the project had achieved 80 per cent coverage of pit latrines, and programme for the construction of bore-holes, wells, and protected springs was started within the project area.
‘The issue of providing drinking water is being looked at in conjunction with the need to provide training, and promote hygiene and sanitation in the programme area’, says Country Director Nelson Wajja Musukwe. ‘If we do one without the other the results will not be what they should be, and the problems will not be solved’.
Self Help Africa in Uganda
|Self Help Africa began working in Uganda in the late 1990's, initially on a three year pilot project in Asamuk, and latterly with area based projects in Amuria and Kamuli.|
A number of new area based projects have been started by the organisation in the country in recent times.