Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Schools
With support from Nourish International-Columbia University Chapter, CCUg implemented a WASH project in 2 primary schools in Mayuge district. The main purpose of the project was to promote hygienic behaviour among 500 pupils in 2 primary schools by both pupils and teachers. The project sought to improve the health and learning performance of school children, their families, and teachers through the reduction of water- and sanitation-related diseases.
According to the baseline survey, most pupils (65.5%) had poor knowledge about safe drinking water. Many of them (58.9%) considered unsafe water as safe for drinking and more than half (50.4%) did not know ways of preparing safe water for drinking while a significant number (36%) did not know that certain diseases are contracted through unsafe drinking water.
Most pupils (66.2%) rated the quality of drinking water at both schools as being of moderate quality. A large number of them (95%) were using cups stored in dirty places to draw water for drinking. In addition, pupils who considered the available drinking water as poor noted that it contained metal particles (48.1%), dirty particles (22.2%), had germs (16%) and small stones (3.7%) with a bad smell (3.7%).
Though all pupils were using latrines to dispose of faecal matter, these were not enough for both boys and girls. Both schools had pupil to latrine ratios which were 2-3 times higher than the recommended ratio by the Ministry of Education and Sports. Pupils were using water, leaves, toilet paper, pieces of paper and their fingers to cleanse their anal passage after defecation. Furthermore, a majority of pupils (89.2%) had poor hand hygiene practices, as (86.3%) were not washing their hands with water and soap after visiting a latrine and (98.6%) did not wash their hands with water and soap before eating food in the week preceding the survey.
This contributed to poor sanitation and hygiene-related diseases such as diarrhoea (43.9%) and typhoid (41%). On average, pupils experienced diarrhoea 1.5 times per student and missed 2 days last term due to suffering from the disease. For typhoid, pupils experienced it 1.6 times on average and lost 3 days each time they suffered from the disease.
With that background, we educate 2,300 students about sanitation and hygiene with emphasis on hand hygiene, safe drinking water, waste disposal, and management. We also trained 500 students and teachers about construction of tippy taps, donated 3 water tanks of 120 litres each, 3 jerry cans of 20 liters, 120 water drinking cups, 6 boxes of washing soap and water guard to last a year, 10 cartons of anal cleansing material in form of toilet paper and repaired a 4 stance latrine.
WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENE IN THE COMMUNITY: NAKALANGA PIT LATRINE PROJECT
In Uganda, it is estimated that over 75% of disease burden is preventable and linked to poor hygiene and inadequate sanitation facilities and practices. In many villages, poor sanitation and household hygiene is a major health issue, contributing to diseases such as diarrhea, dysentery, trachoma and associated illnesses, including malaria.
Nakalanga village is located on the northern shore of Lake Victoria in Bukaleba Parish, Bukatube Sub County, Mayuge district, approximately 35 km from Musita, along the Iganga-Jinja Highway. The village is home to more than 4,000 people, and in early 2014, had very low latrine coverage of less than 40%. At that time, there was only one community pit latrine, which was already filled up and unusable. Open defecation and dumping of rubbish were very common among community members, leading to contaminated runoff into the lake. With only one borehole serving the entire village, community members routinely drew water from the lake shore to avoid lining up for clean water from the borehole.
With funding from Nourish International, CCUg implemented a pit latrine project in the summer of 2014, constructing two community pit latrines and bathrooms in Nakalanga Village A and B. As part of the project, staff members and Nourish interns educated and sensitized over 840 community members in safe sanitation and hygiene practices.
While the new latrines have significantly improved the health and hygiene of the community, there is continuing pressure associated with high utilization. Community members take turns using the latrines, and sometimes, the wait results in quarrels and disagreements among community members.