Over the course of the last decade, Busoga Trust has developed an increasingly integrated approach coming to see sanitation and hygiene equal to, if not more important than the provision of water itself. We now never construct a village water source until the sanitation coverage reaches as close to 100% as possible. Our sanitation work takes three main forms.
Community Led Total Sanitation
Our teams in the field implement Community Led Total Sanitation instead. CLTS, as it is known, works on the principle that communities should be shown, without a forced agenda, the extent of their open defecation and the ramifications of this. Shock tactics are used to engender a sense of disgust amongst villagers. These include communities mapping out common open defecation sites and placing a bowl of rice beside a pile of faeces collected from the environs so people can then see the flies moving between the two quite readily. This process is known as “triggering” and results in a community led demand to achieve total sanitation, hence the name. It has reaped dramatic results in our programmes including increased levels of sanitation, over time, from 27% to 94%. We now carry out a CLTS programme in every village and have a Home Improvement Campaign (HIC) centre in 1 village in every cluster of 5.
In all our programme areas we have embraced the idea of promoting sanitation in schools. As well as providing water sources at schools, we also provide latrine blocks for girls and boys. It is important that girls have separate facilities in which to administer to personal hygiene during menstruation free from the stigmatisation of others. Otherwise girls often drop out of school when they hit puberty.
Micro Credit for Sanitation
During the ‘International Year of Sanitation’ in 2008, Busoga Trust partnered with UN Habitat to implement a unique, micro credit for sanitation (MICROSAN) model, project in Uganda’s Bugembe District. The goal of the MICROSAN scheme was to facilitate access to improved and affordable sanitation facilities for up to 900 poor, female headed households. Households gain access to very low interest affordable loans which are for the sole purpose of investment in latrines. To date over 230 stances have been constructed benefiting some 400 households, close to 50% of the overall target.
Salma Ahmed, highlighted a way in which MICROSAN was helping community members to adopt formal structures, ‘before joining the project, I was intimidated with keeping money in the bank. However, as a result of the project, I learnt the importance of using the bank and saving’. The more people work toward protecting their finances the easier the fight against poor sanitation becomes.