Story by: Ssendegeya Jonathan-KYCTV team-Kawempe
Flying toilets and open defecation were among the concerns highlighted as the most serious issues in Kalimali Zone Bwaise III at the time. This was due to the nature of the settlement, which is characterized by low-income earners with generally poor housing conditions. As a result of the circumstances, several people are unable to obtain and access proper designated WASH facilities.
The National Slum Dwellers Federation of Uganda, in collaboration with ACTogether Uganda, carried out city-wide profiling, mapping, and enumeration in the neighborhood in 2013. The settlement was discovered to be made up of approximately 385 homes that were all reliant on one shared facility and the fact that only two public toilets, were out of service. It was therefore concluded in the findings and engagements, that among the concerns faced by the community, is the absence of public toilets as the most important worry to the residents.
Following several discussions with the community, one of the members of the community provided free land for the construction of a toilet. There was a sense of belonging as a result of this because community members were part and parcel of the construction process as well. Under the supervision of the project management committee, which was made up of six community members, community members were more involved in creating building materials such as T-beams while also participating in the actual construction of the facility.
The community facility is developed holistically to accommodate the settlement’s circumstances. It consists of four stalls, two bathrooms, and one for those with disabilities, who are frequently neglected and left behind. On top of the building is a community hall where residents can gather to discuss issues concerning their settlement.
The construction of sanitation in the area has undoubtedly given the Kalimali zone’s neighborhoods a human element. Community members may now readily utilize the facility for a small fee of 100shs; this money, according to the project management committee, is used to pay off the caretakers and the facility’s day-to-day expenditures. According to the local leaders with whom I’ve spoken, open defecation has lessened and the community’s sanitation has improved since the sanitation facility was constructed.
“You could wake up in the morning and discover a polythene bag with human waste in your yard; it was disgusting, but we are grateful that it is now difficult to locate human waste; people frequently use the facility, which has improved hygiene in Kalimali.” Said a local resident.
Despite the fact that the facility’s construction has had quite a good impact, people believe that more government and development agency actions are needed. they say that investment on sanitation is expensive that require a collective and coordinated effort for meaningful and comprehensive impact.