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Water Aid, New Vision promote sanitation

By Vision Reporter

Added 20th March 2012 09:31 PM

New Vision, in conjunction with Water Aid, has launced a project to promote better water, sanitation and hygyiene (WASH) practices in schools and homes in various districts across the country.

Water Aid, New Vision promote sanitation

New Vision, in conjunction with Water Aid, has launced a project to promote better water, sanitation and hygyiene (WASH) practices in schools and homes in various districts across the country.

By Francis Kagolo - JANUARY 27, 2012

New Vision, in conjunction with Water Aid, has launced a project to promote better water, sanitation and hygyiene (WASH) practices in schools and homes in various districts across the country.

Under the sh168m year-long project, New Vision’s newspapers-in-education team is to train teachers in using newspapers as a teaching aid for achieving better sanitation and hygiene.

Free copies of the newspaper with instructive articles about sanitation will also be offered to students.

Over 54,000 pupils in 90 primary schools and about 25,000 families in Amuria, Katakwi, Pallisa, Moroto and Masindi districts are to benefit from the project, according to Rebecca Alowo, the head of campaigns and research at Water Aid Uganda.

Signing the Memorandum of Understanding with Water Aid, Vision Group’s chief Robert Kabushenga was optimistic that the project would help improve sanitation and enable more Ugandans live healthier lives.

“We are now in a position to augment our agenda of not only providing a newspaper every day but also providing information that can transform society for the better,” Kabushenga stated during the ceremony held at the company’s head offices in Kampala Friday.

Alice Anukur, the Water Aid representative in Uganda, called for concerted effort from the civil society, government, private sector and communities in promoting good sanitation practices.

“Poor hygiene contributes greatly to Uganda’s disease burden resulting in loss of income (over sh389b annually). It also makes children miss school,” Anukur noted.

“If every Ugandan got access to safe water, sanitation and the disease burden reduced, we would ably achieve most of other millennium development goals,”she added.

Anukur also advised the Government to provide sanitary pads to female students in primary and secondary schools in order to curb the high dropout rate among girls.

The project comes amidst increasing public outcry over appalling sanitation in schools and homesteads.  

Saturday Vision recently published a list of schools with poor latrine coverage. They included Panyador primary school in Kiryandongo district which did not have a single latrine.

The Ministry of Water and Environment last year published a report indicating that over 15 million Ugandans lack pit-latrines. The report also showed that over a dozen million do not wash their hands after visiting a toilet. It also showed that over 75% of the disease burden in Uganda is related to poor hygiene.

Describing newspapers as the most appealing learning tool for children, Vision Group’s editor-in-chief Barbra Kaija said the project would promote better sanitation practices. 

She added that inculcating in children social practices when they are still young was the best strategy in accelerating development.

“Children are the best teachers in society. If a child learns that not washing hands after visiting a toilet is harmful, she or he will remind whoever does not do it. At the end, every family member will learn,” Kaija explained. 

She commended Water Aid for supporting New Vision  in carrying out developmental journalism and asked other organisations to emulate them.

Kaija also advised charity organisations to make use of newspapers published in local languages such as Rupiny in northern Uganda and Orumuri in the west as well as Vision Group’s electronic platforms, to reach to a wider audience and change communities in the country.

Water Aid, New Vision promote sanitation

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