Uganda Red Cross team cleans Imvepi market, rewards outstanding model homes during the West Nile Sanitation week launch
Uganda Red Cross West Nile Refugee Response team of hygiene promoters on the 26th March 2018 launched the sanitation week across the 36 villages of Imvepi refugee settlement. This was organised in collaboration with other partners that included the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), UNHCR, OXFAM, Unicef Uganda, Danish Refugees Council (DRC), among others. The purpose of the Sanitation Week is to intensify and increase knowledge on proper Hygiene and Sanitation management in the refugee hosting communities for promotion of good health.
During the week, Uganda Red Cross Volunteers joined the rest of the partners and participated in a march, walking to songs carrying messages of good hygiene and sanitation at a personal and community levels.
The Red Cross Volunteers organised a number of activities to launch and kick start the hygiene and sanitation week. Some of the activities included a thorough clean-up of the Imvepi market which was in a bad hygiene state. Hand washing facilities were installed, people were reminded to always wash their hands with soap and clean water, given personal hygiene tips and encouraged to keep the market clean.
“Our Volunteers have offered to clean up this market and also demonstrate how one can keep themselves clean and maintain their environment safe to avoid the spread of diseases like cholera that normally break out when the sanitation and hygiene of a place / individual is poor. We are doing this for the wellbeing of our beneficiaries in this refugee settlement.” Said John Paul Owiny, Uganda Red Cross WASH Engineer, and lead coordinator of Hygiene promotion activities in this settlement.
During the sanitation week, Red Cross assessed households’ hygiene and sanitation standards to recognise model homes that have been living to the good set standards promoted by the Uganda Red Volunteers during the years.
“Ever since the settlement was opened in July 2016, we have been sensitising refugees and host communities on how to manage their sanitation and hygiene. We have done several interventions to this regard, including digging latrines and giving out latrine constriction materials, doom slabs, soap, water purification tabs, jerricans for keeping safe and clean water, bringing clean and safe water nearer to them among other things. Today we want to see those that learn and put in practice what we teach them so that we recognise them and also ask them to be role models to their neighbours in spirit of promoting good health”. Owiny added.
Over 39 villages were assesses and the best homes were given soap, drinking water cans, jerricans, scrubbing brushes, buckets, and other hygiene tools away of recognising them.
This community engagement is believed to be a major source of morale and encouragement for the community to improve their hygiene and sanitation in the settlement.
Uganda Red Cross Volunteers are still deployed in the settlement to continue with the campaign of promoting good hygiene and sanitation through sensitization and mobilizing the community to work together in collecting rubbish and burning it. With help of mega phones, URCS Volunteers continue to disseminate information, mobilise the refugees to properly manage waste in the market, clean water sources, clean their water storage cans, manage their home surroundings, wash their clothes, eat from clean utensils, dig garbage pits, construct latrines, and comprehensively live a safe and clean life for their survival.
The community welcomed the campaign and promised to improve by keeping up the spirit in order to promote proper hygiene and sanitation in the market and across Imvepi settlement.