Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Forging Ahead in Sanitation Advancement

One of the first things you have to adjust to upon arrival in Uganda is the bathroom situation. Commonly, you are lead a few feet from your living quarters to a concrete 4” X 6” room with a hole in the center. At first, you look at it with robust curiosity; then, you put together what it is and can’t help but wonder, “Where does it all go?”

Sanitation does not cross the average person’s mind in developed nations. But, in developing nations, where 1.1 billion people still use old world sanitation means, there is an ongoing conversation on how to make improvements to rid the general population of the diseases it spreads so quickly. Poor sanitation is the main cause of the spread of waterborne diseases: like Hookworm, that leads to malnutrition that can reduce immunity to other diseases, and Trachoma, the leading cause of preventable blindness in Uganda.
With the rainy season still underway, these concerns continue to rise. The Uganda Village Project launched a new campaign under our “Healthy Villages” program focused on improving sanitation. The Village Sanitation Campaigns created plans to improve and increase the number of latrines, hand-washing facilities, bathing rooms, UV- disinfecting stands, and trash pits in Ugandan homes. Since the project’s launch in early 2010, houses including new methods of combating issues caused by uncontrolled sanitation have increased dramatically: plate stands in houses increased from 15% to 100%, the creation of trash pits rose from 13% to 96%, hand-washing facilities in homes went up 80%, and covers over latrines went from 8% to 64%.
On October 1st, a decade after they set their Millennium Development Goals, the UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution clarifying the meaning of a right to “Clean Drinking Water and Sanitation.” As efforts to improve the world’s condition slowly take off, UVP can stand tall and continue its hard work as an example to the rest of the world.
By Jeyandini Fernando
For more information on how you can help our sanitation efforts, please visit our Cause: