Women group leaders in a planning session ahead of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Learning Caravan
Women in Mabamba Bay on the shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda expressed their commitment to improving Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in their community. They also showed high inspiration and commitment to promote environment-friendly development practices in their area. The commitment came after the Learning Caravan facilitated by NBD and other partners from November 2019 to January 2020. The learning caravan provided several women groups the opportunity to share knowledge and best practices from neighboring households on issues related to WASH and environmental management.

In 2018 NBD and IHE Delft signed the partnership framework agreement for the project entitled “Women and Water for Change in Communities” a 2-year project funded by the Coca Cola foundation. Read details of the project from the UN-IHE website HERE
Overall, the project was implemented at Mabamba Bay area in Uganda, and Mara river basin in Tanzania. Under this partnership framework, NBD conducted trainings on “Empowerment of Women and youth as Climate Resilience Champions”, targeting selected women and youth that are capable of influencing their communities for both Tanzania and Uganda.
As a follow-up to the 2018 training; from November 2019 to January 2020, NBD in partnership with Network for Water and Sanitation (NETWAS) facilitated communities from three villages of Mabamba Bay (Lubya, Nakasozi and Ziba) to hold a Community Learning, Knowledge development, and best practice Exchange caravan in Uganda.

The major objective of the caravan was to enable the communities to share, learn knowledge, and best practices about good WASH and environmental management from each other so that knowledge and best practices are duplicated within the households, villages, and beyond.

Through house to house visit, participants of the learning caravan were able to see Hygiene and Sanitation facilities in the neighborhoods and, learned about best WASH practices as explained by the owners of the facilities and the expert facilitators who facilitated the caravan.

Women leaders from Mabamba also toured Katosi Model Village in Mukono as an exchange visit, from where they learned on how to make improved energy cooking stoves.
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Women learning and actively participating in the building/making of modern and energy efficient cooking stoves - All stages From start to finish

Learning by doing:  Results talk from the ground

Around 100 women and men from Mabamba Bay area participated in the caravan.  Ms. Irene Namubiru who chairs the Mabamba Women Group says that they learnt a lot about WASH under NETWAS coaching including the making of energy efficient cooking stoves.

After the learning caravan, women from three villages managed to construct 8 latrines, 35 utensils drying racks, 75 tip-taps for hand washing, 26 energy cooking stoves, and dug 52 rubbish pits.

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Participants of the WASH learning caravan during a hands on exercise on digging rubbish pits, making utensil drying racks, and making of tip-taps to facilitate washing of hands after use of Latrines
As a model and strategy of continuity of the program, women groups have also started recruiting men, youth, and children to be part, learn and carry on the knowledge in their communities.

The learning caravan exercise was crowned with a one day results/experience sharing meeting of groups from different villages.
Local council leaders and representatives of the local government graced this occasion and expressed their gratitude for such exciting but also educative arrangement that will benefit these communities not only today but through the years to come. 

At the same gathering, children of Mabamba bay community presented a poem on WASH and conservation of the environment as in the video on the right >>

The women community highlighted a few challenges:
1)     They expressed the challenge of lack of access to safe water despite their closeness to a large water body. The search for safe water at distant places puts the girl child at great risk since they are the most involved in fetching water in their communities. They community welcomes any opportunity geared towards solving the water crisis in this area.

2)    The current women groups are self support initiatives to boost family self support. The groups have started venturing into Savings And Credit Co-Operative (SACCO) initiatives but are short of funds to have these SACCOs grow and evenly support their membership.

3)    They need capacity building on Credit and Savings in order to better manage these the credit schemes/SACCOs

4)    The women also requested to be facilitated to have more exchange visits even in other countries where NBD operates so as to share experiences, but also carry on the knowledge exchange and self learning program.

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