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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.

Hand washing is essential for effective healthcare

posted 18 Oct 2016, 01:23 by Sekuma Peter

October 15, is Global handwashing day. It is an annual campaign event dedicated to promoting healthy lifestyles through washing hands with soap and clean water. This directly echoes the health situation of any country such as Uganda, where the under-five mortality rate remains high, with one out of five babies not living beyond their first month due to infections linked to dirty water and unhygienic equipment and conditions at the place of birth.It is therefore important for this year’s Global Handwashing Day, to draw our attention to what improving water, sanitation and hygiene in healthcare facilities would mean to Uganda where many hospitals and clinics lack even rudimentary access to water. Read more

Turning feacal sludge into money; The story of Kole residents

posted 20 Sep 2016, 03:14 by Sekuma Peter

It is dirty. Everyone fears to associate with it even when they have just excreted it because it smells. But little do they know that human waste is a source of wealth.
For five months now at Otangula Village, Ilera parish in Kole District, human waste also known as faecal sludge is a business venture to more than 50 youth while promoting sanitation and hygiene in their district.
Mr Jasper Obong, 30, says people have been using deep pit-latrines for on-site sanitation which is costly in terms of construction when the old ones get full.

“At our homes, we have been digging deep pits and these are expensive and pollute the water table. These deep pits cannot be emptied easily once they are full which requires construction of new one. But this has an impact on land usage but because of the cost, many households end up failing to construct a pit latrine,” says Mr Obong.
He explains that with the introduction of a decentralised faecal plant, they are now encouraging households to dig shallow pits to ease emptying and subsequently drying it and turn the faecal sludge into briquettes for fuel and fertilisers.

“We have embarked on sensitising people on the benefits of digging shallow pits because they are cheap to manage. You only need between Shs50,000 and Shs100,000 to empty the pit using a gulper compared close to Shs1 million required to dig and construct a new one,” narrates Mr Obong, a sales manager and member of a Lango-based community based organisation; Youth without Borders.
He says the fees include transportation from site to the faecal plant where sludge is separated from water and dried before being mixed with carbonated material to make charcoal briquettes. The water is then used for irrigating demonstration garden for farmers. He says a kilogramme of charcoal briquettes costs between Shs700 and Shs800.

“With the use of charcoal briquettes, a household saves upto 40 per cent of the fuel required. This reduces pressure on natural resources like vegetation in a home,” says Mr Obong.
Water for People with partners including Kole District authority, commissioned a faecal sludge treatment to improve sanitation and create business opportunities for the youth in the district.
The 10 cubic metre capacity facility comprises of sludge drying bed, a manual gulper that empties unlined pits, a tricycle and tanks for transporting the sludge.

Mr Osbert Atwijukye, a Sanihub Coordinator with Water for People- Uganda, says the initiative comes at a time when improved sanitation remains a challenge in the country where more than 90 per cent of the population uses on-site sanitation and most towns are completely non-sewered.
“Unfortunately, most of the latrines are not lined while others are dug very deep without giving due consideration to the water table. The major reason for use of substandard latrines is lack of access to affordable and reliable emptying and treatment facilities,” says Mr Atwijukye.
He says the district was selected to benefit from the project due to lack of a faecal sludge treatment plant, only relying on a few waste water stabilisation ponds in neighbouring Lira District.

Mr Atwijukye says the plant contributes to modern and drainable latrine facilities and reduces the costs for making new pit-latrines especially in schools.
“We expect the plant to improve pit emptying in the area, reduce illegal dumping of sludge and result in the preservation of water resources which are currently deteriorating because of poor management of sludge,” says Mr Atwijukye.
The decentralised faecal sludge treatment plant has also trained entrepreneurs in briquette making.
He says the appropriate business models will be applied to ensure sustainability of the business to reduce pressure on the natural resources.

“Sludge smells due to poor management when it is fresh or decomposing. But when it is dry, it does not once it is properly managed,” says Mr Atwijukye.
He says the Ministry has established a fully-fledged sanitation and sewerage Department to address the issues of urban sanitation.
Mr Steven Sugden, the sanitation global manager for Water for People, explains that turning waste into an income-generating activity is expected to improve the cost of living among the local people.
Source: www.monitor.co.ug

Girls Waste 200 Million Hours Each Year Collecting Water

posted 5 Sep 2016, 04:56 by Sekuma Peter   [ updated 5 Sep 2016, 04:57 ]

Girls spend an average 200 hours each year collecting water, according to UNICEF. This doesn't mean going to the sink and filling up a cup. It refers to the girls around the world who live in communities without access to clean water, who, as a result, have to trudge every day to fetch water from available sources from their families. The news comes in light of World Water Week, taking place in Stockholm Aug. 29 to Sept. 2.

This means that girls and women around the world spend even more time than previously thought collecting water — nearly 50 million collective hours more. That’s 50 million hours that girls could instead use to learn, play sports, pursue careers, and get out of poverty.
“It would be as if a woman started with her empty bucket in the Stone Age and didn’t arrive home with water until 2016. Think how much the world has advanced in that time. Think how much women could have achieved in that time,” said UNICEF’s Chief of Section of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Sanjay Wijesekera.
The burden of lack of access to clean water falls on the shoulders of girls and women, and has been holding back girls for too long. That’s why this year’s World Water Week theme — Water for Sustainable Growth — focuses on clean water as a sustainable development tool, one that has the power to advance women’s rights, health, and keep the benefits flowing for all.
The biggest goal going forward is getting access to clean water within a 30 minute round-trip for everyone, according to UNICEF. Closer access to clean water cans even the playing field, making it less likely to interfere with a girl's education.

When it takes more than 30 minutes to collect water, this task more often falls to girls. A study from 24 sub-Saharan countries found that when the collection time exceeded 30 minutes, an estimated 3.36 million children and 13.54 million adult females were responsible for water collection. In Malawi, for example, men spent just 6 minutes getting water, while women spent nearly an hour (54 minutes.)
"Women and children should not have to spend so much of their time for this basic human right,” said Wijesekera.

Cholera strikes more than 50 in Yumbe

posted 1 Sep 2016, 23:01 by RCN Uganda   [ updated 1 Sep 2016, 23:02 ]

Cholera has broken out in Bidibidi refugee settlement camp in Yumbe District, infecting 53 people. The district health officer, Dr Alfred Yayi, said at a meeting with United Nations Development Programme officials on Tuesday that sanitation at the camp is poor.
“Pit-latrines are available but the culture and taboos of the refugees of not sharing pit-latrines with their in-laws are making some of them to practice open defecation. We have managed to handle the cases with the partners with no cases of deaths registered so far,” Dr Yayi said. He added that 50 refugees and three Ugandan nationals are receiving treatment at a health centre in the settlement camp.
With the continuous influx of refugees, the district councillors are demanding for the construction of more health centres and upgrade of the existing classrooms.
Mr Saidi Aniku, the district vice chairperson, said: “The available health centres in the district are not enough to support the indigenous people let alone the refugees.”
He called for the recruitment of more health workers, and stocking of health centres with drugs.
Mr Aniku said there is need to raise more awareness on sanitation in refugee camps to prevent outbreak of diseases such as cholera.
The disease Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae.
The short incubation period of two hours to five days, is a factor that triggers the potentially explosive pattern of outbreaks.
Cholera can kill within hours. A person infected with cholera develops acute watery diarrhoea with severe dehydration. This can lead to death if left untreated.

Source: www.monitor.co.ug

Improve hygiene, sanitation in schools for better learning

posted 1 Sep 2016, 22:57 by RCN Uganda

For all Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) endeavors that have been achieved, can we now state with certainty that everybody is putting all the knowledge they have acquired to practice?
Have we delivered the much desired objective to say schools (not forgetting communities outside school) now experience better learning owing to improved WASH practices? From what we read and see going on, especially around the countryside, many schools still have a lot to do. We know too well that communities require water flowing constantly, with proper sanitation facilities.
To achieve this, they ought to immediately transform the knowledge they have into practice. Yes, WASH messages have been preached. But we cannot equally match that with current practices.
WASH habits do not seem to be giving us the joy we crave for. Not with the cholera and dysentery outbreaks. So where do we start?
Any new facility must be accompanied by user know-how, regardless of how simple it is. It means there must be on-going training, so users can learn and demonstrate this learning practically. This will make them remember the vital moments, when hands should be washed.
We want to see that change. So that when the bell rings for break or lunch, the first thing triggered on students’ minds is to immediately wash hands before eating anything.
Schools without WASH facilities have to provide them. Because many lack these facilities, children (and older people) often utilize open land to dispose waste and run the risk catching diseases.
With facilities provided and constant training, there will be clean latrines and children will access better quality water, hence less likelihood of falling sick.
By Simon J Mone,

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