Jumedi west village is a fishing village along the Albert Nile River in West Nile region of Uganda. Most of the people in the area are fishermen and fish mongers as their main economic activity. The Albert Nile River is the main source of water for domestic use like cooking and washing.
It is a common occurrence seeing women washing along the banks of the river and on their return home, they ferry jerrycans of water on their heads for home consumption. Jumedi West is also known for open defecation due to lack of any sanitation facilities and its proximity to the river.
In August 2015, Water School Uganda and SNV met with the local leaders and brainstormed of the hygiene and sanitation challenges in the area.
Caroline Acen, a 35 year old disabled woman is married to Alex Ukwonga and they are one of the village members that received the training.
After the training, they took initiative to improve on the existing sanitation facilities like the pit latrine, bought a padlock and constructed a hand washing facility.
Despite of her physical condition, Acen smears her pit latrines every month to keep it in good shape and she is generally a clean woman.
Acen’s husband said he is not ashamed to welcome visitors at home because the home is clean and has all the components of sanitation and hygiene.
“For sanitation to be realized in a family, it needs support from both the man and woman.” Acen attests.
She further challenged the neighbors to improve on their facilities better than hers since they are able.
Effective sanitary facilities do not segregate the poor or the rich, physically well or disabled but everyone in the community needs them.