Posted by: wfpdc | April 21, 2012

Reflections on World Water Corps

Have you ever been asked or asked a traveling friend, how was Africa? Each time I hear it I can’t help but picture a map and all the regions of that vast continent where I haven’t set a foot down. For this trip, my Africa experience was three districts within Uganda: the Mukono, Kyenjojo and Kamwenge Districts. These three districts were familiar but subtly different in their water and sanitation situation. Mukono is a largely peri-urban district near the capital city of Kampala where it was sunny and hot all week long while we were looking at the household sanitation situation. After Mukono, we moved west to the mountain districts near Fort Portal to map community access to improved water sources. Here we found larger distances and rougher terrain between villages and some enjoyably temperamental weather, catching the field teams in some afternoon thunderstorms a few times. Kyenjojo as I experienced it, was a rich farming region with a high water table that gave the region plenty of water but caused some trouble with the pit portion of the pit latrines. Kamwenge presented similar weather, terrain and great distances to cover for our teams but had insufficient and seasonal access to water. Improved water sources in all three of these districts were limited and too often down for repairs.

The trip was a great success in the amount of data collected, but I think is the greater accomplishment was training a local team of enumerate surveys to use FLOW.

These individuals can now serve as an invaluable tool to Water For People – Uganda in establishing a baseline, taking action and monitoring progress throughout these regions. After serving on a Water For People committee for 2 years, this was my first direct experience with the work that Water For People does and it was an incredibly rewarding one! I was always impressed and inspired when reading about Water For People, their approach, practices and impact on water and sanitation access in the developing world and now I can say that I have seen it first hand. I had some beers with the Uganda Country Director and witnessed his passion for his country and promoting water as a business. I was also very impressed with the members of the sanitation as a business team and their commitment to latrines and innovation. Overall this trip was a wonderful cultural experience that reinforced my commitment and support of Water For People and their efforts!

If anyone has questions about what’s involved in joining a World Water Corps trip, feel free to shoot me your questions or click here for more information!

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