In two days, we will leave for our departure to Uganda. Once we arrive, it is then a 7-hour car ride northeast to the Serere District. For two weeks, we will meet with community members, schools, and hospitals to access their need for clean water and proper sanitation. Word has already spread locally of our visit, spreading celebration and excitement through the entire district.
Our primary focus of this trip is to learn about the Owiny-Agule primary school and figure out together, how we can help provide a basic human need. They reached out to us in April 2018 to talk about the poor sanitation and water conditions the school has. The school houses close to 750 students with half being female. The girls carry the burden of collecting water for their families every day. They have two times they can go and collect water in their family. The first is before school. If the walk is not too painful or too long, they might be able to make it to school that day. Walking during the day can be dangerous because of attackers, animals, and assault. Many will choose for the second option, begin their walks at sundown. This option has its own unique difficulties including walking alone at night or getting hit by a car. A clean water source at the school can eliminate all these fears and improve health.
Clean water without proper sanitation means nothing and the Owiny-Agule community knows that. The school only has one bathroom stall for all of the girls. Many will leave school early because of the long lines present. Most school children will openly defecate to make sure they do not miss any of their classes. The human waste from openly defecating can poison any water source it comes into contact with.
Together with the community, we have proposed a project that will improve water, sanitation, health, education, and gender equality. This upcoming trip will teach us about the technical feasibility of the scope of the project. To ensure there is long sustainability, community members will be involved in every step of the process.