Improving WASH practices in Uganda through education and knowledge sharing

13 April, 2022 | Issie Hatfield
Categories: CO2balance, Safe Water, Uganda

Water User Committee members receiving WASH training in Kaliro, Uganda

In February 2022, CO2balance actioned their plan to improve on their existing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) activities in communities that collect safe water from CO2balance operated boreholes. The aim is to improve WASH practices at both the borehole and within households, decreasing the risk of water users becoming ill from contaminated water or poor hygiene practices. As we step up our approach, there is a need for professional support in actioning this aim and therefore we have been working closely with an in-country WASH consultant to operate WASH training sessions.

Primarily, the aim is to directly educate the water users on best WASH practices. However, prior to the community training session, a two-day session for our CO2balance project officers took place to ensure that they were educated on WASH practices so that they were aware of what to inspect when monitoring boreholes and liaising with community members. Project officers were taught about the safe water chain, what safe sanitation looks like, and they collectively put in place an action plan of how they will improve WASH activities going forward.

Attendees at the staff training sessions said:

“The most useful thing was the training manual and the approach towards training communities that made [me] very much aware on what to do before conducting [community WASH] training.”

“We had a lot to learn about WASH, share new ideas and interact with other team members from other areas of work.”

WASH consultant training CO2balance staff members on the ideal WASH situation

Following this positive event for staff members, the consultant conducted a two-day WASH training session for 32 representatives of Water User Committees from communities that use CO2balance boreholes in Kaliro District. Meeting objectives included:

  1. To educate them on the meaning of water user committee and their roles
  2. To enlighten on the causes of conflict and how to resolve them
  3. To discuss committee roles for composition
  4. To equip participants on the knowledge and skills for operation and management of boreholes
  5. To educate the participants on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

Attendees learnt how to maintain a borehole and the surrounding area, in order to avoid sanitation issues, by repairing the fence regularly, allowing storm water to run off and not stagnate at the source, sweeping the borehole compound, cleaning the borehole platform and properly pumping the of borehole without jumping. The consultant highlighted that storage containers must be kept clean and encouraged attendees to store drinking water in jerrycans instead of pots due to the higher risk of microbial organisms developing in pots.

The feedback from the session was incredibly positive; 88% of attendees at the community training session reported that the content of the training was good. Continued work to monitor and evaluate WASH knowledge and practice within the communities will be carried out both in Kaliro and other project districts across the country.