This year, MRDF’s partner Voluntary Action for Development (VAD), has supported over 4,000 people in Uganda to access clean, safe water. The organisation has been working in 25 villages to increase basic water and sanitation provision.
Despite being located very close to the city of Entebbe, Bussi and Kava Islands on Lake Victoria can only be reached by taking small boats through the swamps. It means people living there have limited access to health and social services. Before VAD began working in the area, waste disposal was primarily directly into the lake, due to a lack of sanitation facilities and poor understanding of hygiene. Over two thirds of the population were using water from unsafe sources and no schools in the area had proper sanitation or water facilities. The school toilets that did exist were not gender segregated, which deterred teenage girls in particular from attending school.
Over the last year, VAD has worked with local communities to construct new water sources, providing almost 5,000 people on Bussi Island with access to clean water within 1.5 km of their homes. This has reduced the average time taken to fetch water by over an hour – time that can now be spent at school or at work.
The organisation has also worked with community leaders to provide 35 disabled and older people with their own water source and toilet.
Alongside this, separate toilet blocks are currently being constructed for two of the primary schools in the area which, it is hoped, will increase girls’ attendance at school. On Kava Island, VAD has worked with community members to build toilet blocks, providing facilities for over 1,000 people who previously only had access to open latrines.
The people of Bussi and Kava Islands are already seeing positives changes in their lives as a result. In Kavalwazi Village, which has benefited from hygiene training and a new well, resident Peter Kabuuka says: ‘I am very confident that this project will change our lives for the better since we are already witnessing good outcomes in such a short while.’
If you would like to help VAD to provide more communities with clean water and safe sanitation, consider supporting them for a year or more through MRDF’s Partner a Project scheme.