Clean Communities, Healthier Lives
Action Against Hunger is training community members across northern Uganda in good hygiene and sanitation practices to make their villages healthier and cleaner places to live. Sam, a member of the Village Health Team in the town of Obir, has participated in five training sessions since 2008. He also serves as a model for his neighbors, who have followed his lead in taking steps to improve their health.
“Before, our compounds had few facilities, and there were a lot of diseases, such as diarrhea and worms, due to the lack of latrines and safe drinking water,” he said. “Now, with the new well drilled by [Action Against Hunger] and our improved household facilities and knowledge, we have seen a real improvement in general health and household sanitation.”
"Now, with the new well drilled by [Action Against Hunger] and our improved household facilities and knowledge, we have seen a real improvement in general health and household sanitation." —Sam, Obir, Uganda
Action Against Hunger trains Sam and other health team members like him in simple, yet effective, ways to keep their homes clean. For example, he now collects all trash in a refuse pit, keeping flies and the smell of rotting food away from the living and food preparation areas. Sam has also established a bathing area separate from the mud puddles where animals like to play.
Building a dish drying rack was another hygienic practice Sam learned about from Action Against Hunger. Before, cooking utensils were often washed in contaminated water and left to dry in buckets inside homes, attracting rodents and flies. Now, a simple drying rack has been constructed outside, allowing the sun to dry the utensils quickly, burning out germs and keeping insects away.
Sam’s family also benefits from a water filter donated by Action Against Hunger, which contains the household’s drinking water. But he is most proud of the latrine, which keeps human waste contained and away from the living areas. A hole cover cuts off the smell, and small brushes made of fragrant straw are neatly piled in the corner for cleaning. Outside, the tippy tap allows Sam and his neighbors to wash their hands easily and hygienically, just by tipping a jerry can with a foot operated lever.