Sustainable Water Initiative Supports UCLA Student Research in Uganda

Sustainable Water Initiative Supports UCLA Student Research in Uganda

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Tue, 01/31/2017 - 10:48am

Safe water access, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) practices continue to be an endemic problem which impairs household health and livelihoods, especially in low and middle income countries. As part of the Sustainable Water Initiative at the Luskin Center, Dr. Greg Pierce supervised four UCLA undergraduates, Caroline Fernandes, Claudia Flores, Gabrielle Montalbano, Harveen Sekhon to conduct a thorough evaluation of a WASH improvement program implemented in eight villages located in the Nama Sub-County of Uganda. This work was funded by GlobeMed and a local non-profit organization, Mpoma Community HIV/AIDs. 

In the summer of 2016, the four students conducted eight outreaches in villages where GlobeMed has implemented a WASH program and two outreaches in villages that lacked a WASH program. After completing the survey evaluations, the effectiveness of the WASH project in Nama Sub-County was analyzed and compared to the two control villages that lacked WASH.

Twenty participants were surveyed in the local language of Luganda in each village. Each survey lasted approximately fifteen to twenty minutes. The survey covered topics such as the state of the MCHI-funded water source, current household sanitation practices, and latrine quality. GPS points of each household were also noted after permission was granted.

The results gathered from these outreaches provide invaluable insight into the effectiveness of WASH and improvements that can be suggested. The results demonstrated a change in behavior as related to sanitation and hygiene through better latrine management and handwashing practices in WASH villages. WASH villages generally showed better water source quality as compared to the control villages, which generally had an unprotected water source. At the same time, the results gathered demonstrated a need to strengthen WUCs in WASH villages, as they are an integral component of the WASH program.  This work supported the Luskin Center’s broader goal to partners and promote collaboration between NGOs, governments, communities, and individuals in order to tackle water access issues, both in California and globally. 

 

Safe water access, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) practices continue to be an endemic problem which impairs household health and livelihoods, especially in low and middle income countries. As part of the Sustainable Water Initiative at the Luskin Center, Dr. Greg Pierce supervised four UCLA undergraduates, Caroline Fernandes, Claudia Flores, Gabrielle Montalbano, Harveen Sekhon to conduct a thorough evaluation of a WASH improvement program implemented in eight villages located in the Nama Sub-County of Uganda.