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Uganda Sanitation Projects Equip Schools and Local Laborers

In places where safe water is scarce, healthy sanitation can be an unfamiliar concept. Hygiene habits like hand washing and bathroom etiquette are not part of daily life due to the lack of available clean, safe water and the absence of latrines.  

But for those in the Luuka District of Uganda, things are beginning to change. Thanks to district-wide safe water projects and a multi-faceted household latrine initiative, lives are being transformed.

Access to safe water and sanitation at school has increased the health of children and allowed them to attend school.

Spanning more than 250 square miles, Uganda’s Luuka District offered very little access to safe water.  In addition, although some latrines existed, the majority were poorly constructed and broken-down. With new rural growth centers forming quickly, Water Mission and charity: water partnered to bring solar-powered, piped water systems to this area to address safe water and sanitation needs. 

A beneficiary of this effort is the Butimbwa Primary School. Today more than 1,100 students now have access to safe water and healthy latrines, including a special latrine constructed for those who are disabled. 

Latrines at school and households provides people with privacy and dignity.

“I am very grateful for the good things that Water Mission and charity: water have brought to Butimbwa Primary School,” said head teacher Mary.  

Another big initiative is benefiting community health and economics. To mobilize communities to continue improving sanitation, Water Mission is training local masons to construct household latrines. These latrines are constructed by skilled workers and paid for by the recipient.  

Water Mission-trained masons learn quality methods that use affordable, locally sourced materials, reducing costs and increasing access for community members.

“This is a new direction informed by our learning and… the need to improve the quality of household latrines,” said Abraham Bagalya, Water Mission team member in Uganda. “The trained workers provide professional latrine construction services to the entire sub-county of Waibuga where we are currently implementing a number of WASH projects.” 

Beyond the training program, inexperienced workers are partnered with more experienced masons to obtain on-the-job training and practical experience.  

“Water Mission’s training has impacted my life and [brought] my career to greater heights,” said Abdul, who recently completed the training program. “I was taught and had a good experience. I came here to do something better than I was and am very happy about that. Thank you very much.” 

Less than a year after implementation, the number of usable household latrines has increased to nearly 85% in the project area.  

“I am so grateful, and I have nothing to give—I just want to appreciate,” concluded head teacher Mary. “I ask the Almighty Lord to bless Water Mission and charity:water for the good things they have brought.” 

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