Jack and Lewis are students from Northwestern University on Global Engage Student Institute global development learning program who participated on FSD Fall II 2020 virtual internship.
They were hosted by Busoga Trust, FSD’s partner organization which works in various communities in east and central Uganda to promote sanitation and hygiene. Busoga Trust allocated the students to work Buwaguma community, one of the primary communities that benefits from the organization services.
During community assessment, poor hygiene and sanitation was identified as the main existing challenge the village experiences. They lacked sanitation structures and disinfectants like soap to maintain their hygiene. Often times people within the communities used wood ash as the readily available method for sanitation of latrines. This paused a risk of acquiring and spread of diseases in the community.
With the identification of community’s main challenge, the students along with Busoga Trust Team and the community came up with a project idea aimed at improving hygiene and sanitation of Buwaguma. They split the project objectives to focus on two main areas: Hygiene and Sanitation Education and Hygiene and Sanitation Infrastructure.
The essence behind the Hygiene and Sanitation education objective was to help the villagers improve on better hygiene and sanitation practices. To achieve the objective, a series of presentations were organized and carried out in conjunction with their sub-county government and Village Health Team. These presentations included not only personal practices that the community in Buwaguma could improve on, but also instructions on how to improve on their sanitation infrastructure with the resources and tools that have been provided.
Hygiene and Sanitation Infrastructure objective focused mainly on general home improvements such as the construction of tipy taps, rubbish pits, drying racks, and latrine facilities, and the clearing of bushes around 100 homesteads. The community used local materials to construct all the required sanitary infrastructure in various homes.
The community members acknowledged that the helping hand rendered to improve housing and sanitation would have the largest positive impact on their community. With improved sanitation and hygiene practices, the control of the spread of diseases around the community would be limited. With better knowledge of improved practices, the villagers will ideally be able to maintain the hygiene infrastructure on their own in the future.