What activists are doing to promoting sanitation in Ugandan slums

By Roland D. Nasasira

There are a number of characteristics that cut across most, if not all slums around the world, including those in Kampala.
While they are comprised of big populations, they are also characterised with somewhat high levels of poor sanitation and hygiene.
The Makerere Kivulu slum area is not any different. It is defined by deep trenches, filled with black water that flows to nowhere, littered with polythene bags, plastics and at the same time stinky.

Mr Badru Bwanika, the Chairman Kivulu LC1 and Councillor Kampala Central Division says by virtue of the fact that slum residents are poor people, they mind less about the hygiene and sanitation of the area in which they live.
“When we get an external person or organisation to come in and engage the community in cleaning, they learn that sanitation has to start with them. There are those who do not know that sanitation improves on their health,” Mr Bwanika observed.
Mr Bwanika made these remarks on Saturday at a community clean-up of Makerere Kivulu organised by Joy for Children Uganda (JFCU) Kampala Slum Women’s Project Group in the area. The clean ups organised annually are part of the activities aimed at achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number six, of clean water and sanitation.

The organisation previously cleaned slums of Bukoto, Mulago and Bwaise under the theme, “A clean Community, My Health Right, My Responsibility.”
SDG six goes beyond drinking water, sanitation and hygiene but also addresses the quality and sustainability of water resources, critical to the survival of people and the planet. The 2030 Agenda recognizes the centrality of water resources to sustainable development and the vital role that improved drinking water, sanitation and hygiene play in progress in other areas, including health, education and poverty reduction.

Moses Ntenga, the executive director of Joy for Children noted that the overall sanitation and hygiene of most slums in Kampala is alarming as they are mainly comprised of huge populations, including children and older people who do not take the issue of sanitation seriously.
“Toilet coverage, garbage disposal and water is too little in slums. We believe that by improving sanitation in slums, we are reminding the slum communities to take the issue of hygiene seriously to prevent diseases such as cholera and diarrhoea that are a danger to human life,” Mr Ntenga said.
Other slums that the organisation cleaned previously include Bwaise, Bukoto and Mulago.


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