Impact in Lira: Update from the Field

Work rolls on in Lira, northern Uganda, with three new wells and four repaired wells this quarter. Local health promoters, community leaders, and teachers are hard at work in over 30 communities spreading the news about the benefits of latrine use and improved hygiene practices. In Lira, the work especially benefits women and girls. Whether it is the burden of long treks to distant water points or the indignity and health threats from open defecation, women and girls bear the brunt of the effects of unsafe water and lack of sanitation. This quarter we reached out these women and their families to better understand the issues facing them and the way accessible clean water and sanitation affects their lives.

“My husband does not stay at home hence each and every time the [Village Health Trainer] VHTs are moving within the community, they don’t get him at home and this give me a lot of embarrassment but out of the training I attended with [Lifewater partner] DWU, I took courage to begin working on my latrine which had no wall and roofing. My home now has all the sanitation facilities and today when DWU with a team of VHTs were advertising about sanitation, they passed and found my home very clean with every facility in place. I want to advise my fellow community that it is just a matter of your commitment and time we can promote hygiene and sanitation in our family even if we have money or not.”– Mrs. Janet Opito, mother of 5, Tedam village, Lira

“We had been moving to a far distance of about 2 km in search of a clean drinking water in which some time when you find people crowded, either you come with clean water after a long time or you go and fetch from a swamp which is dirty but you force yourself to drink because you need to drink and use water. Sometime this problems of water could bring for us issues with my husband in that when you come late from the well the husband not only complained but also give you another name meaning you were in love affair  with another man that is why you have come late… I want to argue my fellow women who have been suffering  like me to keep this well like your own if not then we will continue to suffer so let’s protect the well, contribute money the way we were trained.”– Jacinta Apio Okuce, Anai Wigweng, Lira

 “As a girl sometimes the problem of water in this village makes me feel like running away from home… because I have three boys at home together with our parents and they all want to bathe and I am the only one to fetch water. If it is you, what would you do? I only rest during school but when the holy day is approaching I begin to look at the challenge of water that I am going to face at home” – Christine Adongo, Anai Wigweng, Lira

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