Agago: 15 sub-counties embrace WASH program
Last Updated on: 2nd March 2022, 09:46 pm
By Ceasar Okello
Agago – March 2, 2022: Communities in Agago district have welcomed WASH Program as one of the ways of improving the health system amongst them.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Agago is an intervention by development partners like Amref, Absat and IRC. It’s being implemented in the 15 sub-counties in the district.
The intervention involves the construction of a piped water system, toilet facilities and hygiene practices in homesteads.
During the training of Journalists from Lango and Acholi sub-regions held at Top View Hotel in Patongo Town Council, it was observed that communities have welcomed WASH.
In Atula village, in Omot sub-county, Absat has constructed pipe water following a prolonged community outcry in the past over lack of clean water.
Noah Otim, an engineer working with Absat said that the initiative has helped the community mostly in reducing the hours mothers spend when they line up to fetch water from boreholes.
According to Otim, the pipe water is stationed at one point. For one to use, he said it should be connected to home.
He explained that after connecting it, beneficiaries usually pay a user fee at a subsidised price.
Mila Ajok, 64, a resident of Atula village who has benefited from the project said it has helped her from moving to a far distance.
Ajok said that paying user fees is much easier than going far distances looking for water, adding that pipe water has saved them from contaminating water-borne diseases.
Jessica Achola, another resident, said even though pipe water is in their area many people do not have access to it due to the cost attached to it.
Achola also said that one of the reasons most households do not have piped water in their homes is because the information did not reach them earlier during the time of construction.
For one to fetch the water, he or she has to pay shs75 a jerrican
In Gere-Gere sub-county, communities have embraced the construction of toilet facilities in their homes.
Charles Ojok Okidi is the Village Health Team (VHT) of Onyol village. He said that out of the 56 households in his village 51 are already having toilets.
He said before Amref went to them there were only 10 toilet facilities in the village and most people were used to open defecation which was posing a very high health risk to them.
Margret Anek, a resident of Onyol village said that the going of development partners like Amref has helped them in behavioural change.
Anek said that before 2020, her family members were used to open defecation. Now, she said her husband has dug the toilet.
Isa Sematimba is the Project Manager at Amref in charge of WASH Program. He is happy that the communities have embraced WASH in Agago district.
Sematimba said they introduced a community-led approach, where the community constructs toilets on their own without being forced to do it.
Before doing that, Sematimba noted that Amref made communities understand the benefits of having toilets at home and hygiene.
According to him, before Amref intervention, toilet coverage in Onyol village was at 10% but currently it is at 52%. He expects that by the end of this year all homes with have toilets.
Journalists where also asked to embrace reporting on WASH program and create awareness.