Uganda update: Much more than just water

Our WASH & Learn project in Uganda is much more than just water. In this update we tell you about doing business with mouth caps, gardening with residual water and blue soap…

Not just water

In this project we are doing much more than just installing water supplies. Two examples of this are these:

To address the COVID-19 situation, we have provided training on how to make and sell reusable face masks, including other hygiene products such as soap. This appears to work very well and the female entrepreneurs are still thriving with their business today.

We also started a very inspiring collaboration with human rights activist and writer Mohamed Hammie, based on a survey in remote communities, which brought out the perspective of often unheard of women. Because we want to bring this story to the general public, we decided to make a comic book. Which will be promoted and launched in 2022.

Waste water voor kitchen gardens

Uganda had the longest school lockdown in the world, which, among other things, resulted in an increase in student malnutrition (because they are often offered a good meal at school). In a session on adaptive planning, the solution was found: the reuse of waste water for vegetable gardens.

The solution fits well within our program as it addresses not only water issues, but also climate resilience and monetization as the vegetables that are not consumed can be sold.

The approach was a success. So far, the program has supported vegetable gardens in four villages and has reached more than 2,000 people. The success formula is also being adopted outside these villages.

I gained knowledge and skills about vegetable gardening and now I grow my own vegetables and have more money to spend. WASH and Learn has not only changed my attitude, but also that of children and the men in the community.

Mrs. Birungi Kabooko, farmer and mother of 7 children in Karugaya

Looking ahead

In the coming period, our project will focus on hand washing research in collaboration with Diversey, who will supply blue foam.

We celebrate International Women’s Day, which is literally kicked off by a government official with a local girls’ soccer team.

We will guarantee loans so that families can invest in their own WASH facilities.

We are working on a radio campaign with TRAC FM to raise awareness and advocate for access to water.

Finally, we will continue to work on a strategy for carbon credits.

WASH & Learn

This project is actually a follow-up to Said’s water vending machines in Tanzania. Innovation was central to that project, resulting in the vending machines. In this new phase, we are expanding to Uganda to provide communities with water there too.

However, that does not mean that we can choose exactly the same approach and technique. We have to look at how we work per location. In this way we also arrived at what we are going to do in concrete terms here: realizing 15 new water points, rehabilitating 3 old ones, 19 rainwater collection tanks and 15 hand washing points.

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