Opinion
Equitable water, sanitation funding is key to ending diseases
Publish Date: Jul 14, 2014
newvision
  • mail
  • img

By Simon J. Mone

In November 2013, the Vision Group’s clean town competition resulted in the cleanest and dirtiest towns in Uganda. Findings therein revealed deplorable sanitation of our towns. Naturally, we were expected to respond to this feedback by improving our environmental sanitation.

Surprisingly, hardly a year on, no significant progress has been made, save for a few towns led by Kampala city which has shown great improvement. Cleanliness of countryside towns remains awful. Inhabitants struggle with raw sewage flowing through open channels, back streets are littered. Toilet use is improper and the bush is still being used quite a lot.

UN General Assembly Resolution 64/292 states that access to clean water and sanitation is a fundamental human right. Within our communities, vulnerable people are yet to feel the impact of this resolution. Universal target of achieving adequate supply of water and especially sanitation is far from being attained.

Collective efforts should be increased to provide sanitation access to the World’s less privileged population, which should be enjoying their ‘fundamental right’ to access.

The leading cause of disease and mortality in mostly developing countries has always been linked to the absence of safe water and the lack of good sanitation. Moreover, no one can doubt that continued absence of safe water and good sanitation does not only have a negative impact on health, it leads to food and nutrition problems.

Prioritising proper; garbage management, toilet use, foul water and sewage disposal is vital in improving well-being and health of communities.

Although improvements are being made in hygiene, especially hand washing in schools and human waste disposal, rising population and limited funding hinders impact of these initiatives.

Funding of hygiene-related initiatives is still seen to be much lower than funding of clean and safe water projects. If more funds are committed to sanitation programmes, hygiene practices will become more sustainable.

This is possible, if funding always aims at the best possible ways of integrating hygiene promotion into water supply and sanitation projects.

Development partners have for a long time committed bigger amounts of money towards drilling boreholes, protecting wells and springs, rainwater harvesting in rural areas but little or no money in providing toilets and solid waste disposal systems. The growing populace are constraining existing facilities, hence dysentery and cholera recurrence of the recent past.

We desire to live in clean environments so this is the time to adequately fund sanitation projects. Improvements in sanitation have always been complicated by high population growth and increased urbanisation.

Success in sanitation projects will be attainable, if the Government and development partners support communities in finding an appropriate balance between funding sanitation projects and funding water projects.

Let the funding be provided in equal measure because should clean water be supplied, waste water should expected. Communities in especially rural areas have got to be empowered to have access to potable water and improved sanitation.

Achieving the right balance between water and sanitation will effectively address the problem of diseases and hunger. If communities do not fall sick, they devote more time in doing productive activities. This helps in boosting incomes.

Conversely, when communities have no access to adequate and sustainable sanitation facilities, then most of the time, they will be in and out of hospitals treating sicknesses. They spend most of the time and money to get healthier. In the process they remain less productive.

The writer is a civil engineer
 

Related Stories

Government support is key to ending eeglected tropical diseases

Sh200b funds for mosquito nets

We have lost three children to a Mysterious disease

 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
United Nations security council resolution 1325 – A dream deferred?
We are approaching the 15th anniversary of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1325 of 2000, on women, peace, and security in October 2015. Women from Africa and other continents pushed for the passage of this resolution, and it was met with pomp and ceremony....
Collective responsibility is required in the observance of child rights
Uganda Parliamentary Forum for Children (UPFC) was initiated during the 7th Parliament to create an avenue through which the status of Uganda children, especially those in difficult circumstances could be addressed....
Child neglect is the leading cause of death in children
In Uganda, as part of our national celebrations is the 16 days of activism starting from November 25 to December 16....
Youth and empowerment
In order to gain youth empowerment, there should be intergenerational equity, civic engagement and democracy building through attitudinal, structural and cultural process whereby young people gain the ability, authority and agency to make decisions and implement change in their own lives and the li...
Focus on village savings to eradicate poverty
Living in poverty is ugly and those trapped in it need to explore their potentials out of it. Uganda has made enormous progress in reducing poverty levels country wide from 56% in 1992 to 24% in 2009; several national studies report the reduction to be more significant in urban areas compared to ru...
Germany’s secret credit addiction
With recent data showing that German exports fell 5.8% from July to August, and that industrial production shrank by 4%, it has become clear that the country’s unsustainable credit-fueled expansion is ending....
Should Govt lease parts of Lake Victoria to private developers?
Its Ok
No Way
Not Sure
follow us
subscribe to our news letter