Stories from the field: Facilitating Sustainable WASH Access in Uganda

In 2018, we launched a multi-year program in the Tororo District of eastern Uganda designed to bring locally-sustainable access to water, sanitation, and hygiene to the community of Merikit, where over 20,000 people had to walk miles to fetch water and had no toilets or handwashing stations in the community.

We trained local leaders to build a solar-powered well and 40,000-gallon storage tank, then install piping to reach a dozen water taps placed strategically throughout the community. We then helped them build handwashing stations (which include locally-made soap) and toilets at all six community schools, the sole community clinic, and the community center so that all community members could access them.

Finally, we trained the leaders to implement weekly WASH classes in all schools and the clinic, designed to instill proper WASH practices throughout the community. Several years on, the well still operates continuously, and the toilets, taps, and handwashing stations are constantly maintained.  The community has achieved a sustained 67% decrease in diarrhea cases, a 50% increase in school attendance, and rising incomes for the entire community.