WASH standards at the community level in Uganda

Type of Change: New/further knowledge gained  

Boundary Level: Community 

Summary/Theme: Achieving improved WASH standards at the community level in Uganda by engaging Water User Committees and primary schools in water education.

Aaron Acuda, a volunteer with World Vision in Oyam district, Uganda, was working on the improvement of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) standards in the area when he came across LA-WETnet’s ‘Water Integrity’ course advertised on Twitter. Aaron applied to the course, as many of the communities he had been working with were facing the challenge of operating and maintaining their communal water points, mainly due to the limited technical knowledge and skills. 

Right after participating in the course, he began applying the knowledge gained by training 20 Water User Committees (WUCs) on water management, launching water clubs in 12 primary schools from the area, and even formed new committees at water points where they did not exist.  

Thanks to these education and awareness-raising efforts, a more responsible attitude towards the access and use of water sources was observed in Oyam district, and even more so during COVID-19. Communities became more aware of the health and well-being benefits of the sustainable management of water sources and the associated safe sanitation and hygiene practices, including handwashing with soap. 

Aaron underlined he experienced real improvements in the way he delivered his training after completing the course. Instead of using the traditional lecture model, he engaged primary school students and community members with more experiential learning sessions (using art, music, and dance) to present key concepts regarding hygiene, water point management and financing, climate change and disaster risk management. This contributed to a positive intervention for the development of new behaviors and practices for improving WASH conditions as well as preventing the spread of COVID-19.