In autumn 2018, brand-new water and sanitation facilities were built in the two schools in Bwambara Hill, and were formally handed over to the local community by WATSAN at an official Commissioning Ceremony on 26th February 2019. These are now being used by school pupils and staff, with excellent feedback from the field.
Before WATSAN’s project, the two schools in Bwambara had no water harvesting facilities of their own at all, and staff and pupils were dependent on gathering water from a dilapidated and overused spring in the community, to which they had to walk and queue to collect water, or when this spring frequently dried up, from the polluted Rushaya River 4km away. Existing sanitation facilities were tumbledown, squalid and fly-blown. WATSAN UK Support spent much of 2018 focusing on fundraising for this life-saving project where the need was so great.
Following fundraising efforts at The Funding Network, a pub quiz and at a local Ugandan Walk for Water in Bwambara Hill, WATSAN was able to carry out all of the work proposed to improve the lives of residents. As well as the construction of three rainwater harvesting tanks, five pit latrines and a low-yield spring, WATSAN delivered comprehensive health and hygiene education to staff, students and the local community.
An organisation and management committee that is now responsible for the upkeep of the structures has been established, and WATSAN staff carried out a series of community meetings, home and school visits to assess in general terms the impact on the community of hygiene and sanitation improvements and health and hygiene education.
As part of these visits, 196 homes were visited, where the WATSAN team identified 98 new hand washing facilities created by residents after the education programme; 62 homes with clean drinking water containers; 16 new compost pits; 46 new dish drying racks; clean water-fetching utensils, and clean swept compounds. This suggests the project has delivered the all-important behavioural change that will ensure the benefits are sustainable over time.
In a gesture of goodwill towards the project and WATSAN, the Ministry of Water and Environment donated four plastic tanks, each one 10,000 litres, which were allocated to the Archdeacon’s residence, Bwambara Primary school staff house, Bwambara Secondary school staff house, Pa-Pee Primary school.