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Towards Clean Water: Kabarole District’s Hygiene Drive

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Efforts to address Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) challenges in Kabarole District are intensifying as the district strives to achieve Sustainable Development Goal number 6, aiming to provide clean water and sanitation for all by 2030. Despite facing significant hurdles, Kabarole is actively working towards enhancing access to safe water and improving sanitation practices across communities.

Currently, the district’s average access to safe water stands at 77 percent, with disparities evident in sub-counties like Kijura Town Council, Karangura, and Harugogo. The distribution of water sources underscores these disparities, revealing a mix of protected springs, shallow wells, boreholes, and public taps serving the population.

Since 2018, Kabarole District has been implementing a WASH master plan with a deadline set for 2030. This comprehensive strategy aims to tackle various challenges, including open defecation, limited access to clean water, poor latrine coverage, and low handwashing practices.

To address these challenges, the district has partnered with organizations like the International Water Sanitation Center (IRC) to implement interventions such as constructing gravity flow water schemes and enhancing sanitation infrastructure in communities. Recently, a significant milestone was marked with the launch of a gravity water scheme in Bwanika Parish, Kicwamba Sub County, representing a crucial step towards providing safe drinking water to 14 villages.

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Collaborative efforts with partners are crucial in securing funds and resources for WASH projects. Kabarole District Chairman, Richard Rwabuhinga, emphasized the importance of partnerships in realizing their goals, particularly in addressing water contamination issues prevalent in communities relying on crater lakes.

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In addition to water initiatives, the district is actively engaged in campaigns to raise awareness and discourage open defecation, particularly in sub-counties like Kichwamba. The data highlights specific areas with alarming rates of open defecation, underscoring the need for targeted interventions and behavior change initiatives.

To improve hygiene practices at the household level, Kabarole District, in collaboration with IRC, has initiated a home improvement campaign focusing on health education and promoting sanitation and hygiene practices. While progress has been made in certain areas, persistent challenges remain, particularly in handwashing practices.

Mary Ayoreka from IRC Uganda emphasized the organization’s commitment to supporting Kabarole District in achieving its WASH master plan by 2030. Through door-to-door health education and provision of handwashing facilities, IRC aims to drive positive behavioral change and improve sanitation and hygiene practices in communities.

Looking ahead, Swaibu Baraba, the Kabarole District Chief Administrative Officer, emphasized the importance of ensuring water availability within 300 meters for every household by 2030. However, substantial investments are required to realize the district’s WASH master plan, with dedicated funding allocated for water and sanitation projects.

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