WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENE IN SCHOOLS: MENSTRUAL HEALTH AND HYGIENE
Menstruation is a major reason that young girls in Uganda miss school. In most rural areas, their absence stems from the lack of sanitary napkins / pads, limited knowledge of menstrual health, a lack of sanitary facilities to ensure proper hygiene and privacy, and stigma associated with "that time of the month".
As part of our Sexual and Reproductive Health education, we provide culturally sensitive and gender-appropriate information about menstrual health. In the near future, we will initiate a program to train girls in the production of homemade, re-usable sanitary napkins / pads as part of our WASH project.
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 was very common among community members, leading to contaminated runoff into the lake. With only one bore hole 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.