- A WASH conditions assessment conducted in 99 health centres in West Nile revealed that 85 per cent of the health centres had limited water supply due to lack of reliable water sources within their premises
- The health centres sampled rely mainly on rain water harvesting during the rainy season
- It will involve the provision of 11 toilets and bathrooms with suitable fittings for ease of use by pregnant women and women who deliver at the health centres
- In addition, the girls’ washrooms in the 7 schools will be equipped with water for menstrual hygiene management
West Nile- About 20,000 children in West Nile will benefit from improved water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services, after receiving a grant from the government of Iceland.
The funding is targeting four health centres and seven schools with limited WASH facilities but provide services to patients and learners, including both South Sudanese refugees and host communities. Communities surrounding the targeted health centres and schools will also benefit from the services.
Ms Unnur Orradóttir Ramette, Ambassador of Iceland in Uganda, said on Wednesday that: “Supporting the construction of WASH facilities that meet national standards for health facilities and schools will contribute to a conducive environment for patients, caregivers, health workers, learners and teachers.”
“Many of the rain water harvesting structures are non-functional. The situation in schools is not any different, given that only a few schools meet the recommended pupil stance ratio of 40:1. Majority of the schools in West Nile are far above the national average pupil stance ratio of 70:1.”
The funds from Iceland will benefit the districts of Arua and Yumbe, targeting 50 per cent refugees and 50 per cent host communities. The funding will be used for provision of 11 mini solar powered water supply facilities including drilling of a new borehole fitted with a solar powered pump and the provision of a 10,000-litre storage tank, construction of gender-friendly drainable latrines, handwashing stations and incinerators.
UNICEF’s Representative in Uganda, Dr. Doreen Mulenga, said: “UNICEF aims to increase access to sanitation and ensure sustainable WASH services in underserved areas including provision of WASH facilities in schools and health centres. Investments in WASH service provision for schools and health centres will create a favourable atmosphere for learning and a better healthcare environment for women and children”
“We are grateful for the support from the Iceland Government that will contribute to a reduction of water borne diseases among refugee children and host communities,”Dr Mulenga added.
The new grant to support the construction of WASH facilities at health centres and schools to meet national standards.