KAMPALA — WatarAid, an international NGO focused exclusively on ensuring equitable access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene education (WASH) for poorest communities has handed over sanitation facilities including 14-stance water born toilet to Nabweru Health Center III in Nansana Municipality to ensure better health standards for patients especially mothers and girls.
Other facilities include safe drinking water and water harvesting tank with officials highlighting that the importance of access to clean water, basic toilets, and good hygiene practices.
The handover ceremony that started with a cleaning exercise in Nansana Municipality to mark the Sanitation Week was also attended by Members of Parliament on the Parliamentary Forum on WASH including Kasese Municipality MP Robert Centenary, Jova Kamateeka of Mitooma among others.
Other leaders include Nansana Municipality Mayor Ms. Regina Bakitte and councillors at different levels.
While receiving the donation, Nabweru H/C incharge Hussein Mwanja lauded WaterAid and said the facilities will go a long way in helping mothers who hygiene challenges during and after the delivery.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for handwashing facilities in health centers cannot be underscored enough.
WaterAid Country Director Jane Sembuche Mselle said the consequences of unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene on children and mothers can be deadly.
She said her organization has partnered with local community organisations—helping them take ownership of sustainable projects that meet their needs and put them in control of their own futures.
“We bring together people in health and education and put taps and toilets at the heart of hospitals,” she said.
To make an even bigger impact, she said WaterAid works with citizens, particularly women and girls, and build their abilities to hold service providers accountable.
‘We want make sure leaders understand that better water, toilets and hygiene are crucial for a stronger economy and healthier society”.
Mayor Bakitte who recently won a five year mandate in the same role thanked WaterAid for the facilities and pledged to to ensure they are maintained.
She, however, said that her Municipality, the biggest in country lacks decent toilets and clean water —leading to a massive health crisis.
With the implementation of the sanitation programmes by different sector players, national latrine coverage has increased from 49% in 1997 to 79% 2018; national hand washing coverage increased especially during the lockdown and only 10% of the population was still living in Open Defecation Free communities by end of 2020.