Uganda WASH Resource center promoting a dynamic, coordinated learning WASH sector that provides equitable and sustainable WASH services

Ministry of Health Launches Sanitation Week with emphasis on handwashing

posted 18 Mar 2020, 05:46 by Sekuma Peter

Ministry of Health will on Friday 20th March in Bulambuli district commemorate the Sanitation Week as well as launch and declare every last Saturday of every month a general cleaning day. 

The Sanitation week celebrations will be held at Bulengene primary school playgrounds in Bulambuli district under the theme, “Sanitation for all, Leaving no one behind. The State Minister of health for primary care will be the guest of honor. 

Speaking at the official launch on Monday, the Commissioner for Environmental Health Department, Julian Kyomuhangi noted that Uganda is still lagging behind in Sanitation issues hence the need for new actions like the national general cleaning day. 

“Statistics indicate that only 37% of Ugandans wash their hands during critical times like after using toilets, before and after eating food while latrine coverage stands at 75%. Also, 75% of all diseases in Uganda are as a result of poor Sanitation and poor feeding. As Ugandans we need to take sanitation seriously,” she said. 

The launch comes at a time when the world is at a standstill due to corona Virus outbreak. The high spread of the disease is partly attributed to poor sanitation. 

“By washing your hands frequently and ensuring personal and domestic hygiene, we can avoid such disease outbreaks like Corona Virus. Our health should be important to all of us,” she said. 

She further noted that the ministry will be ready to use legal force for community members that will refuse to participate in general cleaning day but also encourage community members to isolate members that are adamant. 

Source: https://chimpreports.com

Agago district utilizes rocks to harvest water

posted 23 Aug 2019, 00:14 by Sekuma Peter   [ updated 23 Aug 2019, 03:53 ]

Agago district leadership, in partnership with RAIN (a brand of Aidenvironment), a non government organisation under the WASH SDG programme , has embarked on drawing water from rocks in areas where the water table is low. Moris Ocana, the district vice chairperson, said they have tried to drill holes in some communities, but this has been unsuccessful, yet the district continues to suffer from water crises, especially during dry seasons.
Under the rock catchment rain water harvesting initiative in Abilinino village in Lira Kato subcounty, which was completed in July, a tank with a holding capacity of 100,000 litres has been constructed on the rock from which the water will be drawn. The water sources which is expected to serve 6,000 residents, has pipes connected to the tank and a tap point. The collecting point is fenced off to keep animals away.
Abilinino rock catchment in Lira Kato subcounty, Agago district
"This is a trial project, but when establish that it works, more of these will be established at different points," Ocan added.
Stephen Kinyera, the project engineer for Aidenvironment, said there was a dire need for an alternative source of water, to the extent that even patients in Abilinino Health Centre II would sometimes lack water for swallowing drugs. He noted that they plan to extend the water pipes to the health centre and a nearby school.
"We are going to also train the water user committee in how to protect the water source from contamination," he said. Similar facilities will be constructed at Akwang rock in Paimol sub-county and Aryaa rock in Adilang by next year.

Water coverage in Agago
Raymond Olyel, the Agago district water officer, said the partnership with Aidenvironment followed the district 's five year strategic plan which indicated the need for support in the water sector. Olyel said many of the boreholes are located in the previously internally displaced people's camps that are no longer in use yet people returned home, thus creating a big demand for clean water sources.
"As the water department, our allocation started dwindling in 2010 when Agago district was created. We were initially receiving UGX 800m every financial year but it reduced to UGX 300m which is not enough for drilling boreholes," he added.
Water coverage in Agago district stands at 68% against the ministry 's rating that stands at 90% which the water officer disputes, since many boreholes are not in use.

Source: New Vision, Wednesday, August 21, 2019, by Arnest Tumwesige

Why doesn’t every family practice rainwater harvesting?Factors that affect the decision to adopt rainwater harvesting as a household water security strategy in central Uganda

posted 21 Dec 2018, 01:40 by Sekuma Peter

This article titled «Why doesn’t every family practice rainwater harvesting? Factors that affect the decision to adopt rainwater harvesting as a household water security strategy in central Uganda. It  investigates the reasons householders do, and don’t, adopt domestic rainwater harvesting (DRWH). Using a mixed-methods research approach, we collected data in three districts in central Uganda. Factors that emerged as important with respect to uptake of DWRH to address water shortage, especially at the household scale, include the work of intermediary organizations, finance mechanisms, life course dynamics and land tenure. >Check out the paper are;

Africa bound to fail on SDGs if we simply Watch

posted 4 Nov 2018, 23:56 by RCN Uganda

By Watsis Martin-IRC

In his opening speech at the 7th Africa Water Week in Libreville today 29th Oct 2018, Dr. Canisius Kanangire demands for firm political commitment.

"Africa, did not do well on the MDGs and woke up a failure. Africa has not done well in the first three years of the SDGs. If we continue like this, we are bound to fail again." He said.

These are some of the inspiring words from opening speeches here at Stade de L'mitte, Libreville Gabon. IRC is not only attending, but will together with Kabarole District present the process of developing the Kabarole District WASH master plan 2018-2030. Kabarole district is represented by Hon. Aaron Byakutaaga, Sec for works.

Access to water and sanitation helps halt risk of disease in growing refugee camps on Uganda border

posted 24 Apr 2018, 03:02 by Sekuma Peter

Reporting by: Irene Nakasiita

Under the scorching afternoon sun, a young woman walks through the narrow, bushy foot path with a jerrycan. She opens a running tap near a fenced water plant, fills her jerrycan and returns to the path. She is Beatrice Anyei, 26. With a shy smile she welcomes me to follow her to her home.
Beatrice lives in a one-room grass thatched hut with her elder brother and her two-year-old son. Her husband died in the war in South Sudan, and in the end of 2016 the rest of the family managed to flee to Uganda. They now live in Uganda’s second largest settlement for displaced persons, called Parolinya. It hosts over 183,000 South Sudanese and over 10,000 from the surrounding countries.
She wakes up at 7 am every morning to start running her errands and to walk three kilometers to buy fish, which she then dries in the sun. In the evening she takes the fish to the market to raise income for her family. On a daily basis, she earns 3,000 shillings (about one US dollar) to purchase the minimum her family requires in order to survive.
The Parolinya Water Plant, taken over from MSF-Holland by Uganda Red Cross Society, has improved Beatrice’s life significantly.
“I am happy. Before we had to draw water from the Nile. My baby was always sick because of the bad quality of the water,” she says.
“Now we are safe, we no longer fall sick. I am grateful that the Red Cross brought safe and clean water near us. This water is unique because the Red Cross people make it clear and very pure white. We can use it for cooking, for washing fresh fish, washing our clothes and for bathing.”

Water and sanitation saves lives

Along with food and shelter, safe water and sanitation are the highest priority interventions in emergency situations. Unless adequate water and sanitation services are provided quickly, disease and death could follow.
Uganda Red Cross is currently operating the Parolinya water plant, with the support of the Swedish Red Cross, IFRC and Austrian Red Cross, where it is producing 2.4 million liters of water per day.
Uganda Red Cross society has deployed two highly trained engineers at the site and dedicated a team of 58, such as quality control experts, laboratory technicians, hygiene promoters and chemists.
“We are able to truck water every day and serve over 120,000 people,” says Martin Mbadhi, site overseer.
“The team has been working hard since day one and we are glad to say we are doing a great job here.”

Uganda WASH Media Awards 2017 preparations in high gear

posted 18 Oct 2017, 00:43 by Sekuma Peter

Uganda Wash Media Awards preparations were kick started on 10th October 2017 with announcement of the shortlist of nominees for the forthcoming second edition of the awards.
While addressing the press at the Uganda Water and Sanitation Network (UWASNET) offices in Kampala, Rehema Aanyu, the Liason and Network Officer at UWASNET revealed that the awards were placed under six categories and each category has three top nominees as vetted by the panel of distinguished judges.

Ms Aanyu said winners in all the six categories will receive a cash prize of shs2.5 million, a certificate of recognition plus other endowments.

Ms Lydia Mirembe, the Communications and Knowledge Management Advisor at International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC) said the essence for the awards is recognize the input and importance of the media in promoting coverage of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene(WASH) issues.

“We initiated these awards so that we increase the motivation and recognition in advocacy by the media that promote coverage of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene issues,” said Mirembe

“Our involvement with media is not all about awards but we also work closely with them through giving them access to useful information as far as water, sanitation and hygiene are concerned so the recognition is just an appreciation for their efforts throughout the year,” she added.

On the other hand, Amref Program Manager Mukasa Hajara indicated that they are celebrating the media for their uptake in influencing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene thus calling upon all players to use their respective fields to improve the WASH sector.

Marcia Tusiime, the Environmental Officer at the Ministry of Water & Environment said, “The sure way to articulate WASH in development is to recognise and encourage journalists who look out for and tell the stories about water, sanitation and Hygiene service delivery, and how it affects our socio-economic progress, as individuals, as communities and as a country,”

The Uganda WASH Media Awards first edition took place in 2016 and it was established by the Ministry of Water and Environment together with partners to reward excellent reporting on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.

This year’s awarding gala will be held on 20th October, 2017 at Sheraton Hotel Kampala.

For more information refer to awards site http://washmediaawards.com

AfDB funding for water and sanitation in Uganda hits sh786b (reposted)

posted 18 Oct 2017, 00:34 by Sekuma Peter

A report by the African Development Bank (AfDB) shows the agency has injected up to $218m (about sh785.9b) to close the water and sanitation services gap in Uganda at the end of September 2017 through loans, line of credit and grants to various projects.

It notes that the interventions have benefited Ugandans with clean drinking water, waste management services, sanitation and hygiene education for communities and reduction of water pollution of water bodies around the country.
“The Bank prides itself in contributing to the improvement in the quality of lives of the people of Africa. The Water and Sanitation Department leads the bank in increasing its development footprint through sustainable, innovative and clean water management initiatives that have made life easier and reduced water borne infections for the people of Uganda,” said Gabriel Negatu, AfDB East Africa regional hub director general.

The Kampala Sanitation Programme is one of the earlier projects effected in February 2010 with the objective of improving living conditions of 1.4 million people living in Kampala through enhanced access to better sanitation and environment protection. AfDB through its financial arm, African Development Fund (ADF) approved a loan of $48m.

The financing went into Nakivubo Sewerage System, Lubigi Faecal Sludge Management and Treatment and the Kinawataka Sewerage System. So far, the Nakivubo Wastewater Treatment Plant is 85% complete, while the Kinawataka Wastewater Treatment Plant is 30% complete.

Both projects are expected to be complete by the end of the year. The Nakivubo Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) now boasts of a biogas production capacity of 5,940 m3/day and energy potential of 630KW.

In 2010 AfDB approved funding to implement the Lake Victoria Water Supply and Sanitation Program (LVWATSAN II) in the five East African Community partner states - Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The project’s objective is to address pollution of the lake through boosting sustainable water supply and sanitation infrastructure to 15 secondary towns within the Lake Victoria Basin.

In Uganda, the programme target towns are Mayuge, the cluster of Buwama-Kayabwe, Bukakata and Ntungamo. The loan approved by AfDB was of $15.69m.

The project broke ground in 2011 and now Mayuge town Water Supply System (WSS) is serving a target population of 16,104 while Buwama and Kayabwe WSS have a combined target population of 23,043. Ntungamo town WSS is accessed by a target population of 13,658 people and about 6,139 people are benefiting from the Bukakata system. Most of the water systems are complete with the expected date for completion of the remaining projects being December 2017.

The Mayuge town and Ntungamo town WSS were commissioned last year by the Minister of Water and Environment, Professor Ephraim Kamuntu.

The Water Supply and Sanitation Program (WSSP) is the largest and it has phases I and phase II which were commenced in September 2012 and May 2016 respectively. The program is comprised of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation, Small Towns Water Supply and Sanitation, and Sector Programme Support.

The goal of both WSSP Phase I and II is to contribute to improvement of health and productivity and reduction of epidemic diseases through use of safe water and sanitation services in the Central region towns and rural towns.

Funding for Phase I was $61.46m and $92.78m for Phase II. Funding for Phase I went to the completion of water works in18 new town, rehabilitation of water works in 7 towns, 4,381 new water connections, sewerage system in Kiboga and Nakasongola and Gravity Flow Schemes in Lirima, Bukwo and Bududa.

The Bank also provided Sector Budget Support over a period of 4 financial years 2013-2016 resulting in installation of 3117, 3060, 2450 and 2033 new rural water points.

As a result, the water supply systems in the towns are providing clean safe water to the target population of 241,408. The sanitation facilities in the beneficiary towns have improved access to 9940 people. Bank provided Sector Budget Support over 4 financial years 2013-2016 with an outcome of 716,981; 698,477, 809,368 and 665,352 new rural persons served by new rural water points.

Rural house hold sanitation improved to 79 % while sanitation access to urban communities improved to 84.6% in 2016. Rural access to hand-washing facilities at the toilet increased to 36%.

Uganda Sanitation Week Commemoration Programme

posted 12 Mar 2017, 23:14 by Sekuma Peter

The Sanitation week will be commemorated nationally on Friday March 17th 2017 in Nyimbwa sub-county, Luwero Sub-county. The guest of honor is Hon Dr Moriku Joyce, the minister of State for primary health care. The theme is "Good Sanitation, how is your leader?" A number of activities have been planned for the week long commemoration including;
  • Community sensitization on improved sanitation and hygiene practices
  • Community sanitation week including activities like
    • Emptying of school latrines
    • Awards for cleanest school and most hard working hygiene and sanitation prefects
  • Marching with community leaders, private sector, community members, pupils, civil society and other invited guests
The days programme starts at 8:30am and ends at 2:00 pm with lunch.

Meeting the massive water and sanitation needs in Palorinya camp, Uganda

posted 27 Feb 2017, 05:24 by Sekuma Peter

By Robert Fraser, IFRC

Despite the vast scale of the refugee camp, night in Palorinya, Northern Uganda can be eerily quiet. “We arrived here late at night,” Roy McGroarty, operations manager for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), said. “We found that the most recent arrivals – possibly as many as 30,000 people – had no materials for shelter and were trying to sleep in the open.”

By morning, the scale of the needs in the camp became apparent to McGroarty. “As far as the eye could see in every direction, small groups of families were trying to cope. It had rained the previous night and there was little protection for these families, and few sanitation facilities,” he said. “People were waiting for even basic services.”

In the last six months there has been a steady increase in people fleeing violence in South Sudan and looking for safety in Palorinya. Resources, and the capacity of the government and humanitarian agencies, are stretched.

A government official organizing arrivals in the reception centre said there were many challenges, but water was one of the biggest. At present more than half of the safe water at the camp is provided by teams from the Uganda Red Cross Society. Water is taken from several sites along the Nile, treated and transported long distances to the camp.

Grace Kyagaba, the society’s water and sanitation (WASH) coordinator, said maintaining this level of support was a major operation. “We have teams of staff and volunteers working up to 15 hours a day to meet demand. We will need to expand that capacity even more and we’re looking forward to the WASH emergency response unit about to arrive to boost our efforts bringing more equipment, vehicles and technicians from Red Cross societies in Sweden, Germany and Austria,” she said. “Our equipment is nearing the end of its life, though. Water pumps especially have been overworked beyond their capacity and it is a struggle to keep them going, if one breaks down, our production is reduced until we get it up and running again.”

Robert Kwesiga, Secretary General of the Uganda Red Cross Society, said that, although they were having a significant impact on water and sanitation needs in the camp, there was a real chance that a major disease outbreak would occur. “We have serious concerns over the health of the refugees, especially related to sanitation and hygiene promotion,” he said. “It is only a question of time before major health threats turn into reality, so we need to redouble our efforts to prevent this and be prepared to react quickly. What we fear most is that even more refugees are expected to arrive.”

In addition to water and sanitation services, the Red Cross is also supporting efforts to reunite families – especially unaccompanied children – and to provide other health services.

Deliberating on WASH Based Climate Adaptation Strategies in Uganda

posted 15 Dec 2016, 22:16 by Sekuma Peter   [ updated 15 Dec 2016, 22:36 ]

The National Learning forum took place on December 14, 2016 at City Royal Hotel in Kampala, under the theme, "WASH Based Climate Adaptation Strategies in Uganda." Over 30 participants were drawn from 20 institutions to deliberate on the implementation of WASH based climate adaption strategies in national policies and development agenda. Discussions were geared towards building consensus among climate change actors, that WASH was indeed central to climate change adaptation and resilience. Key issues in the National Climate Change Policy and the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (NCCAS) documents were raised for discussion. Implementing institutions and government were also engaged on decentralization of WASH based climate adaptation strategies, and how these can be mainstreamed in national adaptation programme of action. Water Aid Uganda, Rain foundation, the Ministry of Water and Environment and partners led the discussion. Presentation and summary outcomes are attached below.

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