WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENE
Many families in rural Uganda do not have access to safe, sanitary water. They are forced to collect and drink water from stagnant ponds which are filled with bacteria and can cause serious illness. Poor sanitation, water scarcity, inferior water quality and inappropriate hygiene behaviour are disastrous for infants and young children and are a major cause of mortality for children under five. Those that are lucky enough to live within a few miles of a water pump or borehole must still walk for hours in the heat to reach these water sources. Whole communities will visit one small pump and if these break, which they often do, the choice is either to walk miles more to a different pump or drink from these dirty ponds. Children are sent to collect this water early in the morning and late at night after school which can be dangerous and exhausting.
Children from poor households are ten times more likely to die from the disease compared to those from richer households. However, the principal carrier of the disease is hands. The disease spreads quickly where hand-washing and water facilities or soap are not available, and too often, schools are places where children become ill. In order to effectively prevent diarrheal diseases, it is essential that schools and households have good hygiene practices, and improved sanitation. Hand washing is an easy, inexpensive, and effective way to prevent the spread of germs and keep children healthy. It reduces the number of people who get sick with diarrhea by 31% and reduces diarrhea illness in people with weakened immune systems by 58%.
Abaana Community Outreach Africa promotes primary health care among vulnerable communities, households and schools in the community in order to prevent the overlooked diseases that break out from springs or shallow wells, toilets and bathrooms.
We conduct baseline surveys on the prevailing hygienic and sanitation situation in vulnerable communities and households focusing on hand washing behaviour and facilities; carry out outreaches to communities, schools and vulnerable households around the situation of spring or shallow wells in rural communities focusing on key hygiene and sanitation behaviours for communities and using participatory teaching techniques. We hope this will encourage families and communities that are healthier; perform better in schools; positively influence hygiene practices in their homes and in the wider community; and continue better hygiene practices in the future.
In addition to these outreaches, ACO Africa would like to:
Build water pumps for communities in rural Uganda. This is quite a big job and costs between £2675 and £3350.
Build shallow wells, which is cheaper to construct than a water pump, costing between £670 and £1115.
Fix many of the broken water pumps. It will cost between £65 and £110 to repair a community borehole.
Provide vulnerable families with a plastic tank to store water and collect rain water. This will ensure that children do not have to make the strenuous journey to the water pumps or ponds each day and families can keep water for weeks at a time. This will cost £65.