Local residents gather around the well just constructed
HFW Uganda started its activity in 2001. Currently it works in five parishes, namely Kabubbu, Nakkedde, Kabumba, Tumbaali-Lwemwedde, and Luguzi. These parishes are located in the northern part of Wakiso district around 30 kilometers away from the capital city Kampala. In their development projects, HFW Uganda concentrated on construction of safe water and sanitary toilets which are basis for healthy life. Because sanitary toilets were missing, local population tended to relieve themselves in bushes. These behavior contaminated ground water and led to waterborne diseases.
It is one of the goals of HFW Uganda for all the local population to have access to safe water and build public toilets in all the places where people gather such as markets and churches in these five parishes.
Unsanitary spring water was used for drinking
A toilet used at a primary school
A shallow well built in a community is maintained by local population
A sanitary public toilet was managed by a committee elected among community members
Wakiso District is relatively close to the capital city of Kampala. However, according to the baseline survey conducted by HFW Uganda in 2002, coverage of safe water and sanitary toilets, enrollment rate for primary education, distance to nearest medical facilities, the ratio of malnourished children, average household income are all about same as the national average or lower.
In the year 2002, the coverage of safe water was average 2,000 to 3,000 people per one safe water source. In Nakkedde parish, there was no safe water point. Coverage of toilets was average 30% even if when we included unsanitary ones. Surrounding areas of market places and churches where people gather were contaminated by human excrement.
HFW started with building at least one safe water source per village. Therefore, HFW is mainly building shallow wells that are relatively inexpensive and technically easy to build. As of January 2009, HFW had built 56 shallow wells and repaired a borehole that was out of order and left unused for decades. Children and women who had to walk a few kilometers to fetch water from distant spring wells can save time and spend more time for studying at home and working in the garden.
Next, HFW trained women and youths how to grow fruits trees and to raise chickens. Participants earned income and got nutrition from fruits and eggs. HFW also aims to improve local diet that is too high on carbohydrate so that people in the community can take adequate nutrition. Sanitary toilets were built at five primary schools where HFW improved school facilities from 2002 to 2005. We also trained local residents on importance of keeping wells and toilets clean and how to maintain them along with building shallow wells and toilets.
The local residents are contributing for development projects in their own way :They donate lands for shallow wells, public toilets, and primary schools, draw water for mixing cement during construction, and provide free lunch and lodging for laborors. Each well is supervised by a caretaker committe elected by the residents. Based on the rules the community membersl agreed on, the committee collect fees every month from each household and use the accumulated funds for small repairs. Right now caretaker committees closely manage 56 shallow wells and one borehole (deep well) that was repaired after a long breakdown. The wells are all providing the residents clean water. Managers were also elected for the public toilets and they collect fees from the residents, which will be used for maintenance.
Six staff members including younger members work here. The office is also supported by seven registered volunteers.
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