Last Friday, 22nd March 2019, here at The Busoga Trust we observed World Water Day by making the journey to the District of Buikwe. We came together at Nkombwe Primary School with other partner organisations within the district. The event was hosted by the Buikwe District Fishing Community Development Programme (BDFCDP), a program delivered by a Development Partnership between the Buikwe District Local Government and The Icelandic Embassy International Development Agency (ICEIDA). The Minister for Water & Environment, Sam Cheptoris, & The Icelandic Ambassador, Unnur Oradóttir Ramette, attended the day celebrations as the honourable guest speakers.
During the celebration, the Minister and Icelandic Ambassador commissioned a new solar powered water source distribution system, which now supplies the school and surrounding village of Nkombwe with safe drinking water. The celebrations also highlighted the other achievements of this highly productive development partnership. The BDFCDP has been devoted in its mission to develop levels of Education and WASH infrastructure in Buikwe. Since 2015, the partnership has coordinated 2 multi-million dollar projects that have specifically targeted the Buikwe District.
BDFCDP-Education project (2015-2019) With an aim to “improve quality of basic education in schools serving fishing communities of the district”, in the last 3 years the project has:
• Renovated 74 classrooms in primary and secondary schools in the district.
• Constructed 102 new classrooms in primary schools.
• Provided 23 new school kitchens, which are equipped with energy saving stoves and 10,000 litre water tanks.
• Distributed 50,000 textbooks to primary and secondary school students. Creating a book to student ratio of 1:1.
• In-service training for 34 primary school teachers.
BDFCDP-WASH project (2016-2019) The second project managed under the BDFCDP is aimed specifically at safe water & sanitation. The project has allowed for the development of:
• 153 Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) latrines for the schools and health centres
• 12 Waterborne sanitation system toilets in fishing communities
• 15 Rehabilitated boreholes
• 17 rehabilitated protected springs
• 22 Solar-powered mini piped water systems
• Development of and inclusive operation and maintenance strategy, at community to district level
This development has enabled safe water coverage in Buikwe to increase to 78% in 2018, this is a substantial rise from the 58% in 2015.
This amazing improvement has been accompanied by significant enhancements within sanitation in Buikwe. The Busoga Trust is proud to be part of such a fruitful program. We were entrusted to conduct sanitation education within these fishing communities, conducting regular community and school education visits. We have assisted the program to reach and maintain an amazing improvement in the level of sanitation. Before the intervention of the BDFCDP-WASH project there was a 0% rating for sanitation in the fishing communities. Now, this number stands at 90%. As well as 32 schools and 14 communities being declared Open Defecation Free by the Ministry of Health.
However, the day wasn’t just a success for enabling a podium for the program to project its success through statements of stats and figures, the day brought the community together. The school holding this event was overwhelmed by a contagious atmosphere of joy and pride amongst the community members and school pupils. It created a platform that empowered the people to share their appreciation for the commitment and support shown towards their fishing communities. This was expressed through many songs, continuous dancing, audacious plays and a few eccentric speeches!
It is indisputable that for us here at the Busoga Trust, we believe there is no better way to celebrate World Water Day, than being surrounded by the communities we are dedicated to support!