Location InfoKampala, UgandaDescription
Twekembe Water Challenge
This (research) project is about contaminated water and sanitation in the Kampala and Wakiso district, Bukijje and Ndikuttamadda zone. About 10.000 slum dwellers make use of one contaminated water well, causing waterborne diseases among many people, among which 0-5 year olds are mostly affected. The leader of the local organisation Twekembe stated that people want to keep the water well clean, but need a leader to guide them in this; yet nobody wants to be a leader. Through PAR, five new volunteer leaders were appointed to guide the -with community members and leaders- co-created plan to tackle water contamination in the area.
The 7Senses Challenge is an intensive 12-week program for students, post-graduates and professionals. In a multi-disciplinary, international team they perform Participatory Action Research in the field to boost community empowerment while at the same time work on their own personal and professional development.
|Facts||Twekembe Water Challenge|
|Start date||June 16th 2014|
|Number of participants||2|
|Number of local researchers||2|
Each Challenge design starts from a community issue, addressed by its problem owners at location. As such, we make sure the Challenge is based on local demand rather than donor demand. Together with these local stakeholders, we design the Challenge in a way that fits the local context, from the problem framing up to methodology and concept definitions.
Urban poor areas of Kampala, see severe outbreaks of cholera, malaria, typhoid, bilharzia and other fatal water-borne diseases on an all too regular basis. Many people in the slums still lack safe drinking water and a sanitary living environment and despite efforts, the conditions have not reached or even come close to reaching international or national goals. The most commonly cited basic needs are food, water, shelter, and clothing. In Uganda, many people still lack one or more of these basic needs. In Kampala specifically, many people still lack safe drinking water and a sanitary living environment (Fogg, 2008).
The Twekembe Slum project, although next to the Kampala city, has inadequate sanitation, little fresh water, and no rubbish collection. The consequences include high infant mortality, adult sickness, and cross contamination between fresh water and sewerage. Twekembe is a non profit organization (NGO) and exists to improve the living conditions of the residents of the Makindye slum. The slum is home to thousands of Ugandans, who for one reason or another are forced to live close to the capital city, but without the infrastructure and resources needed for healthy and safe lives (Twekembe 2009). This (research) project is about contaminated water and sanitation in the Kampala and Wakiso district, Bukijje and Ndikuttamadda zone.
2 What is the desired situation according to the slum community and stakeholders with regards to their water supply?
3 What actions need to be taken in order to achieve the desired situation of the slum community and stakeholders?
In this action research, we used the Participatory Rural Appraisal framework to facilitate the process of co-designing with local stakeholders a suitable solution. Literature on the subject was studied prior to the start of the Challenge. A stakeholder analysis helped us determine the main actors in this action research. Interviews with different stakeholders were performed. Prior, Luganda classes were followed in order to be able to have a basic conversation with slum dwellers. Two local researchers helped translating during interviews. A village map was drawn in order to understand the problem in the context of the slum area. A questionnaire and a quick mini survey helped us gain more information on potential leaders. A focusgroup in the end was performed to determine the required activities and the brand new leaders signed their leadership certificate to confirm their new responsibilities. They were trained in leadership skills and instructed in executing the activities.
Each Challenge delivers direct outcomes for the local community on the addressed issue: we can share how many people have been reached, what their perspective is on the current and desired situation and what final Community Action Plan (CAP) they have co-created and implemented. In a later stage, local stakeholders will evaluate the impact of the CAP.
In short: the contaminated water is being used for drinking, cooking, dish washing, boda washing and clothe washing. 86% of the people is unsatisfied or less satisfied with the water well. The contamination consists of bacteria, human and animal excreta, mosquitos, dead animals, soil, fish and wastes.
More information about causes and effects are described in our report.
Clean water, a safe place to collect water especially for children when it’s dark, a permanent place for the waste, reconstructing the water well, the water to be able to flow away and an increase in the number of water wells.
The leader of the local organisation Twekembe stated at the beginning of the action research that the community members needed a leader in order to be able to keep the water well clean, but nobody wanted to be a leader. Through this action research, the Challenge team was able to identify a long list of people who were willing to become a leader in a project to keep the water clean. In the end, five leaders were selected and trained to lead the project as described below and in detail in our Challenge report.
From our action research results, it became evident that clean water is priority number one for the community members. Having clean water comes with some sub-objectives, determined into four categories: improving leadership, finding a system for the excessive waste, raising awareness with regards to contamination and raising awareness regarding health. Also it was mentioned, that collecting water should be safe at all times when it comes to (children) walking for water in the dark. All sub-objectives are described in the objective tree in our report, with their respective required activities for achieving those objectives. The appointed local leaders received activities-forms; through these forms, they determine how and when each activity will be executed. Through this research, we believe to have delivered evidence of the following: 1. That there is an urgent need for clean water in the community of Makindye, where Twekembe Slum Project operates; 2. That the community is willing to contribute wherever they can to improve the situation when it comes to improving the excessive waste problem and eliminating water contamination; 3. That there are 5 new voluntary leaders who are dedicated, and capable of leading the community in their path to development. 4. That the community –in cooperation with the local leaders, together comprise of a well organised entity that is capable of making this project a success. 5. That there is additional funding required to supplement the community efforts and – contributions.
The impact of this Challenge has not been measured yet. As soon as we have results of the impact measurement, it will be presented here.
Coordinator & Action Researcher
Kim van der geest
Sustainable Development Goals
Each Challenge delivers one or more reports. Read here all detailed information on the PAR methodology and outcomes of this Challenge.