Kayinja, a model landing site

Alleluya Didas, CLTS-member in Kayinja: “Those days people were preparing and selling the fish on the bare ground, in the dust.”

Kayinja is a small landing site at the shores of Lake George in South-Western Uganda where people mostly depend on fishing in lake George for their livelihood. The fishing communities are faced with many problems due to dangerous work, no saving culture and high migration. The challenges are many with regard to health and hygiene, water and sanitation and community welfare.

In 2014, after 8 years of presence in the entire Sub county, Protos and JESE decided to focus intensely on this landing site in order to develop a model site that can document on the methods for the improvement of the livelihoods in changing climatic conditions, by working on WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) and IWRM (integrated water resource management).

Ownership as a starting point

After one year of intervention in Kayinja landing site the area can be declared as “open defecation free”. This was something unimaginable one year ago. The secret of success lies in the community-driven process.

JESE and Protos believe behavioral change is possible when it is carried out by the community itself. Therefore KCC (Kayinja CLTS (community-led total sanitation) committee) had been created. The members of the committee participated in a training organized by JESE and Protos on sanitation and hygiene. Together with the local government they formulated bye laws that are to be followed by the households. Nowadays the KCC gathers every Wednesday and Saturday, even when the parish chief is not around. They go from house to house to do sensitization and monitoring. To make the behavioral change more sustainable, the CLTS-committee decided to involve the youth as well.

Graduated from selling fish on bare ground

To improve the hygiene with regard to food and selling of fish JESE and Protos built 2 fish slabs and a fence through local contractorship. These enable a better O&M (operations and maintenance) of the landing site and prevents the entry of animals.

Pride, safety and new opportunities

Kayinja has become a much cleaner and safer place during the last year: water from the lake is boiled before consumption, latrines have been constructed (both pit latrines and eco-sans), garbage is disposed through garbage pits at household level, animals are no longer wandering around in the village, dirty bushes have been removed and sometimes replaced by well growing and income-generating plants like tomatoes and bananas.

BMU (beach management unit) planted small green trees along the fence that surrounding the main fish handling facilities for beautification and people try to build eco-sans by themselves using only local materials and this is a clear sign that people in Kayinja are proud of the new infrastructures and changes, but still want to evolve further.

Namwkwaya Arima: “In the past I was having some bad experiences with open defecation and there was plastic everywhere. I didn’t like it. Now I’m happy with the garbage disposal, the toilets and the fact that there are no bushes anymore." © Protos