Meet Stephen. He heads up the Busolwe Health Workers Association. a little bit of HOPE always seeks to work with local people. Therefore, we’re giving them approximately £125 a month (depending on the exchange rate at any given time), to carry out a programme of basic sanitation education. They’re currently working in two villages, but the programme has been so successful that we hope to expand it to include other villages as soon as possible. We’ve been able to give the Association a new lease of life, because until we provided this tiny amount of funding they had almost ceased to exist.
Meet the team. They are methodically visiting all the households in these villages. Each household gets visited once a month. The first time they visit they talk to the households about what they need to do to improve sanitation – and why that’s important. Then, the next visits are to see what progress has been made. The Health Workers encourage people to dig rubbish pits, have a drying rack for plates and cups, have an appropriate cooking hut, ensure that there is a good distance between their home and their crops / other plants (helps keep mosquitoes away), and various other things.
The team explained that often families run away when they see them coming. They think their Health Officials from the Government coming to reprimand them for not having a latrine. They’re very pleased when they discover that the health works have come to help and work with them.
Meet Mwima Dauson. He was quick to get his compound in order. Many people are, because there is an incentive. If people do the above, we’ll help them build a latrine – and everyone wants one of them. They have to dig the pit themselves (or arrange for someone else to do it), and provide some of the easy-to-source materials. Then a little bit of HOPE (Uganda) will take care of the rest. The latrines are of an high standard and could easily last two decades. This is the first of 30 latrines we plan to build over the next few months.
Many people know how important latrines are, but few can afford to construct a good quality one themselves. And poorly constructed ones can cause as many problems as they solve. As I (Phil) visited homes with the health workers last month, there was a real sense of hope and gratitude. There was also a sense of pride, because they had done much of the work themselves.
Building these 30 latrines has been made possible by a grant from Bethesda Baptist Church, Ipswich. At the moment we’re thinking, “What if?” What if we could help one family each week construct a latrine, until every home in the area has one? To do that would cost approximately £120. £100 to build the actual latrine and £20 to extend the sanitation education programme and do everything else you have to do to manage a project such as this.
If you don’t already support the work of a little bit of HOPE, would you consider giving £10 a month?