Toilet tales and positive attitude change
Oxfam, together with Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) partners in emergencies came together to commemorate the World Toilet Day on 23rd November 2017, in Rhino Camp Settlement, Arua.
It was an interesting day filled with all forms of edutainment activities including music, drama and dance, all geared towards information sharing and creating awareness on the need for safe treatment and disposal of fecal waste. In line with the theme 'Toiles and Wastewater', the day included recognising and celebratng community members who have become role models in setting examples of great hygiene practices.
Significance of World Toilet Day to a Public Health Pomoter
Some communities in the refugee settlements do not believe in latrine use. They claim that having more faeces in the compound shows wealth and capability to marry and sustain a home. This is the reason as public health promoters the bulk of our work involves changing mindsets and attitudes to prevent the spread of faecal-related diseases that are in households that are in close proximity.
The household latrine construction campaign which aims to increase sanitation and latrine coverage within Rhino settlement has registered a number of successes including; 51% latrine construction; motivated community members constructing latrines on their own with or without our support as well as use of community role models to motivate the community members.
The campaign has not been without challenges such as slow progress of household latrine construction and decommissioning of filled communal latrines in some villages in Omugo and Imvepi settlements.
Rocky, waterlogged and collapsible soils in some parts of the settlements has hindered pit excavation, consequently delaying the scaling up of latrine construction and inevitably presenting risks of toilet collapse.
What is our way forward?
As we move towards 100% latrine construction and use, we are working on developing a sustainability plan that is owned and championed by the community that informs policy at local and national levels.
Oxfam, with funding from European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO), is leading a consortium of partners to implement an integrated WASH, shelter and protection response to South Sudan Refugee and host communities in Bidibidi, Imvepi and Rhino Camp settlements in Uganda.
The European Commission’s humanitarian aid department provides funding for projects run by its partners in the field to cover the needs of the most vulnerable. Through the work of Oxfam in Uganda, the Commission supports the provision of safe water, proper sanitation and hygiene measures, which are essential for survival and prevention of diseases.