Most of the people living in the Nebbi District of Uganda draw water from the Nile and the water is drunk without any form of treatment. Due to this, UNICEF is piloting the use of Solvatten in the village. Local government in partnership with UNICEF trained Environmental Health workers on Community Led Total Sanitation interviewed a number of beneficiaries of Solvatten.
All of the community members interviewed uses Solvatten daily and it saves money. The users of Solvatten explains that it has helped them improve health, sanitation and hygiene practice. The report recommends that Solvatten should be supplied to other community members as most people have now realized the links between unsafe water, poor hygiene and disease.
From the report:
It is common knowledge that boiling can make water safe to drink. Due to the persistent rate of open defecation in most communities which leads to contamination of water sources, Nebbi District Local government in partnership with UNICEF trained Environmental Health workers on Community Led Total Sanitation approach to help stop open defecation practices.
For Panyango Sub County, this approach was implemented in two villages of Boma and Pagwaya and the village of Boma attained ODF free status. However, it was observed that this community still drink water from the Nile. Most of the community members draw water from the Nile and the water is drunk without any form of treatment. Due to this, UNICEF is piloting the use of solvatten in the villages. About 11 Solvatten were given out to 11 households within 2 Community Led Total Sanitation triggered villages and 3 villages neighboring them.
Out of the 11 beneficiaries of Solvatten, 8 beneficiaries were visited and they were interviewed on the following:
- The number of times they can use solvatten to treat water in a day.
- Number of times they need to treat water for the whole family in a week.
- Some common diseases the family members have been suffering from and have stopped since they started using solvatten.
- General Benefits of using solvatten.
- Maintenance of solvatten
- Challenges in using solvatten
AKELLE JESKA – BOMA VILLAGE
She treats water 3 times a day. She also uses the water for bathing. She has never suffered from any diarrhoeal disease since she started using solvatten. She find Solvatten is easy to use and maintain. She used to take untreated water as boiling water was expensive in terms of fuel costs but solvatten has saved her this expense.
FEDELIA OKIRWOTH – BOMA VILLAGE
After being trained on how to use solvatten, she now finds it so easy to use and even keep it clean in the home. She treats water with solvatten twice a day. Fedelia maintains sanitation and hygiene in the home and used to suffer from diarrhoeal diseases due to untreated water but with solvatten the family has been free from such diarrhoeal diseases. She has now zero costs involved (fuel) in order to boil her water. She has gained in popularity as neighbors now come and treat their water from her place.
REV. OWINY CHARLES
Owiny treats water with Solvatten at least 2-3 times a day, and he is now assured of treated water unlike before. He likes solvatten because it is simple to use and maintain. No one in the family has suffered from any diarrhoeal disease since they started using solvatten.
LUCY OLOYA – PAGWAYA VILLAGE
Lucy is able to treat water twice a day. She find Solvatten very simple to use and she doesn’t spend on fuel for boiling. She thinks that the water from solvatten is sweet.
Treatment of water is affected during rainy days when the sun appears for some few hours or does not shine at all. Only a few members of the community currently have the solvatten.
More Solvatten be supplied to other community members as most people have now realised the benefits of treating water before drinking.Summary from WASH specialist, UNICEF Uganda Thru: District Health Inspector, Nebbi District Local Government, ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT PANYANGO SUB COUNTY