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The Struggle for Clean Water & Sanitation: Uganda Refugee Aid

November 6, 2006

In November of  2006, World Missions Possible made a $1,742 contribution to the St. Anthony and Andrew Kampala Org. Trust Project (SAAKOT Project) in Kampala, Uganda, to fund the cost of a bulldozer-dug four-person latrine. 

 

LOCATION OF THE PROJECT:

The SAAKOT project is located in the northern part of Uganda, a war-torn area, where people have been engulfed in a 20-year civil war, subjected to inhuman practices, rampant violence and displacement. More than a million people live in these makeshift refugee camps.

 

In these camps there is a loss and lack of basic needs, to the extent that refugees resort to acts of desperation  -- including prostitution, forced marriages, gang rapes of young children and the aged.  Travel at night is so dangerous that brutal killings are perceived as common and even the norm. Lip and nose mutilation are also a common occurence to instigate group terror, so everyone is forced to live in a constant state of unchecked fear.

 

MOST URGENT NEEDS:

  1. Water
    The current water supply, which is used for all domestic purposes, is contaminated with animal and human waste. Some refugees infrequently and sporadically boil the water pri
    or to its use, but many refugees drink the unsanitary water straight from the dirty source and outbreaks and deaths due to water-borne diseaes, such as Cholera, are common. 
     

  2. Proper Sanitation - Toilets
    Toilets are also a very important need to the refugees as many people indiscriminately litter their waste, as they lack toilet facilities. To make matters worse, even clean water sources are not kept safe nor sanitary from animal nor human waste. 

PHOTOS OF THE SAAKOT AREA PROJECT:

 

 

WATER SCARCITY A THREAT

This is shown by long lines of people queuing for water due to few functioning water sources provided by SAAKOT project. This small village with poorly built huts is home to over 20,000 people. This overcrowding and congestion gives way to easy spread of diseases and high crime rates such as prostitution, drug abuse, child abuse, rape among others to emerge. In addition to water scarcity, many  people are congested on one source for water.

 

One of the pictures shows the borehole which was at the refugee centre, but is now broken due to its overuse.  You can see the long lines of people who que daily for this sole water supply water.

Other pictures show the unhygienic water sources, like swamps and trenches, which are contaminated by animal and human wastes. 

 

SANITATION FACILITIES

The kind of toilets that are being used in this environment are open-dug holes. Real toilets in these IDP camps and bathrooms are a dream. Human waste is littered indiscriminately—even in water sources. Open areas are also used as latrines. Due to this problem, the SAAKOT Project is proposing to dig 60 public pit latrines in an attempt to rescue the situation.  

 

FETCHING WATER FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION. Struggling for the last drop.

Majority of the water sources are contaminated with human and animal wastes as evidenced by the girl urinating near the water source which urine is flowing directly down into the water source where a lady is collecting water for consumption. This water is taken un-boiled with all it’s dirty contents. This is from both man and animals wastes. We are sensitizing people on good hygiene and avoiding dismantling their wastes every where. 

 

ONE WATER SOURCE

Safe water sources are very few and one serves more than 1,500 people a day. Most of them are malfunctioning. This calls for them to resort to contaminated water sources such as ponds and ditches used by animals and therefore, competing with animals. This exposes them to water born diseases such as bilhazia and dysentery and yet the medical care is too poor and unpredictable due to insecurity. Our plan is to dig at least 50 protected under ground wells and repair some bore holes to save the situation 

 

Any fund that will be sent to us will be treated in a manner deemed appropriate to the project needs. First and foremost, it will be our responsibility to ensure that any fund given to us go direct to the project to accomplish the work for which the funds are sought for. The project does not need funds for allowances, salaries but we just need funds to provide services to the less advantaged. In this case therefore, proper accountability will be made and forwarded to your office. This will include a financial report accompanied by receipts indicating items used, contract agreement and photographs of the work in progress.

 

Bishop Ondama, of the Gulu Diocese, and Sister Bernadette Nabisubi are the key communication partners in the SAAKOT project. 

 

For more information on how you can help the SAAKOT project in Uganda, please contact WMP's Vice President of missions, Roxane Richter at roxanerichter@yahoo.com.

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