Water and Sanitation

There is no mains water supply in the community where we work. Providing access to clean water and good sanitation for the school remains one of our key priorities. There are two rainy seasons a year in western Uganda – which is good for rain water harvesting systems. However it can still be a challenge to capture as much water as possible and to make sure that it lasts.

Latrine Blocks

latrine block for girls

Sanitation has always been high on The Uphill Trust’s agenda. When we first visited the school 150 pupils were making do with a 2 stance latrine without doors – it was a loo with a view, but also a loo with smells and flies!

In rural areas, Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) latrines are recommended. A VIP latrine was the first building on the new school site in 2016. Two more latrine blocks, still pit latrines but with sewage tanks that can be emptied, were built in 2019 and 2020. All three were grant-funded.

Water Harvesting

rain water harvesting tanks at uphill junior school in uganda

All the school buildings are fitted with rain water harvesting systems – collecting water from the roof for storage in large tanks. There are now 14 water tanks on the school site, with a storage capacity of 102,000L – which sounds like a lot until someone leaves a tap running.

Collecting water is the first step – making sure it is fit to drink is another. Ceramic water filter units in every classroom solve this problem and reduce the incidence of gastrointestinal upsets in the children.

Hand Washing

pupils washing with soap in uganda

Hand washing is known to be one of the most effective ways of stopping germ transmission and is particularly important in close knit communities like schools.

We provided small tank washing tanks after our first trustee visit in 2015. In 2020 we were able to build a permanent hand washing station for the primary school, just in time for reopening after the COVID 19 lockdown.  Foot operated mobile hand washing tanks are used at the school gates.

Community Well

Community well in uganda

The community collects water from a shallow well. This was in a poor state of repair when we first visited and only functioned in the rainy season. The dry season water supply was at the bottom of a steep hill, some way from the homes and businesses.

In 2017 a large donation from a supporter was used to deepen and refurbish the community well and it now supplies water all year round. When funds are available we try to help the wider community as well as the school.

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