Posted by: wfpdc | March 16, 2012

World Water Corps: Uganda

Hello, my name is Cidney Scanlon and I co-chair the Washington, DC Water For People Committee.  I am heading to Uganda in a matter of hours. Myself and three others were selected by Water For People to go on the World Water Corps trip to perform a baseline assessment in Uganda. In preparation for this trip I met with John Sauer, the Assistant Director of Thought Leadership of Water For People, who is playing a key role in the promotion of sanitation as a business in Uganda.
Sanitation as a Business. It was a new idea to me but makes sense. There are many pit toilets in Uganda but very few of them are being emptied. This may be an oversimplified picture of what Water For People is doing, but here is how I understand it. Water For People has identified successful, local businesses that could potentially expand their operation to include emptying pit latrines. They have also identified a business that could provide loans to these local businesses to help them get started in this sector. By helping the businesses expand their services to pit emptying, communities and/or households can now pay to have their pit latrines emptied. The question I still have is will this be affordable for the people who need it most? Maybe I can figure that out while I am in Uganda.
However we, the four volunteers, are going to help with a baseline assessment. The team of four volunteers, led by Andrew Britton with Water For People, are going to rural communities to help teach people how to use FLOW. Field Level Operation Watch (FLOW) is an application loaded on to Android cell phones that allows local leaders, field workers and volunteers like us to record data in all the countries in which Water For People works. There are pre-loaded surveys that are region specific, which local people and us will use to document the status of the water supply and sanitation at individual households. So, myself and the other three volunteers will be talking with local people, recording these surveys and helping Andrew to teach large classes of people to administer the survey so that Water For People can know what is happening on the ground in Uganda as it happens.

I will report back with photos and stories!

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