WASH is the collective term for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. Due to their interdependent nature, these three core issues are grouped together to represent a growing sector. While each a separate field of work, each is dependent on the presence of the other. For example, without toilets, water sources become contaminated; without clean water, basic hygiene practices are not possible.
The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) entails the provision of safe water for drinking and other domestic use, the safe disposal of waste (toilet and other waste) and health promotion activities to encourage protective healthy behavioral practices amongst the population. Nearly 90 percent of Uganda’s 37 million people live in small towns and rural areas, and roughly two thirds of them lack access to safe water.
More Water Facts:
- Over half the population in Uganda lacks a safe place to go to the toilet.
- 8.8 million People in Uganda don’t have access to safe water. This is almost a quarter of the population.
- Over 22 million people don’t have access to adequate sanitation in Uganda, almost two thirds of the population.
- Over 12,000 children die every year from diarrhea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation in Uganda.
Pit latrine coverage in Uganda is low, 47%. A study done by UNICEF(1993) showed that pit latrine coverage was 20% and those families who have the pit latrines but do not using them, while others have them but in poor hygienic conditions, and yet others do not have them at all. As a result of this, there is a high incidence of diseases caused by poor sanitary conditions especially worm infestation and diarrhea diseases. This is where you come in!
What will I be doing?
As mentioned above, the main traditional sources of water in most part of rural Uganda are small ponds and unprotected wells, both of which are easily polluted, causing disease and ill-health. The ultimate goal of your volunteering effort is to be able to help these communities to access safe sustainable clean water for their home use.
Volunteers in this field work alongside local communities to ensure that water, sanitation, and hygiene project, programs, and awareness are implemented effectively, professionally, and in accordance with the culture and practices of the local population.
Since there are so many processes involved in bringing clean water and sanitation to the communities, volunteers can choose among our three WASH project components including water construction and engineering, construction of Pit Latrines, and community healthy outreach.
1. WATER CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING. Volunteers taking on this component work in manual labor such as digging the water wells, constructing of Spring Water Well and digging of trenches alongside skilled and unskilled local builders to help with the construction work. Volunteers can also help in the Construction and renovation of Boreholes and water wells and Provide Technical Advice and skills to the WASH team in water. Both of these fields are fundamental in creating a working water system. Much of this type of volunteer work requires physical labor, in sometimes extremely conditions Volunteers working on the construction or engineering components of clean water projects abroad should be well prepared for these conditions upon arrival.
2. CONSTRUCTION OF PIT LATRINES. Goal: Ensuring everyone has access to a toilet is goal 6 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: “By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.”
You will work alongside skilled and unskilled local builders to help with the construction work. These projects will be contributing and supporting the capacity building of rural communities through intercultural learning experience. You do not need prior experience this projects. These are a very hand on, hands-dirty sort of program. Enthusiasm, a good sense of humor, and a helping spirit are required.
3. PUBLIC HEALTH AWARENESS OUTREACH. Unsafe sanitation practices and the spread of preventable diseases are a large part of Uganda water crisis. Therefore, volunteers are needed to help educate the public, teach basic hygiene skills, test wells and other water sources, and provide affordable treatment to those in need. The importance of marketing, public awareness raising and education, community outreach, and fundraising for a cause cannot be expressed enough; these are the drivers that make change possible. Volunteers who choose these types of WASH project component can expect to coordinate events, monitor and evaluate projects, write newsletters and press releases, and manage overall publicity of clean water projects. Assisting in the preparation of the WASH proposals and Grant writing for WASH Projects funding and Fundraise for the WASH projects using “CROWD FUNDING” Approach.
Our volunteer programs are based both in the town of Fort Portal, which is located 300 kilometers from the capital city of Kampala and in Jinja town about 80 Kilometers east of the capital city of Kampala. The volunteer program begins on the first and third Monday of each month. Volunteers can choose to volunteer for periods ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks.