Project #16144

Water Access, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) Project

by GlobeMed at UCLA

June has been an eventful month for Mpoma and GlobeMed at UCLA! The 2016 GROW team arrived in the village Lukojjo (where Johnson Nkosi Primary School is located) on June 13th. After two long plane rides and one 3-hour car ride through Entebbe and Kampala we finally arrived. We were immediately welcomed by the community and have met countless amazing people and made so many new friends. Apart from successfully acclimating into our new surroundings we have accomplished so much!  

Early in our trip we visited the Nama Sub-County headquarters to inform local government officials about our fieldwork surveying households about various sanitation and hygiene criteria in person and via a formal letter. We informed them exactly how we would conduct surveys while maintaining confidentiality, and the number of villages and households we planned to visit. We also wrote up a formal letter informing headquarters that we will be have our Biannual Meeting in a few weeks where we will train water user committees and share the data from our outreaches (fieldwork).

So far we have visited 4 water sources in the villages Waluga, Lukalu, and Buyki. This year we decided to take GIS (Geographic Information System) points at every house we visit so we can accurately measure the distance between the water source and each household. These points will also be helpful for next year so we know if we visited a house the year before! Additionally, we’ve identified two possible villages to implement new WASH programs in that can also serve as controls for our research. We’re almost halfway done with our stay in Uganda but I can’t wait to see what else we will accomplish!

As the school year winds down our GROW team continues to prepare for their 7 week stay in Mukono, Uganda: flights have been booked, preparations have been made, extra granola bars have been bought! 

Mpoma has continued to make great progress on our WASH project! Earlier this month the team went on an outreach to Namatogonya. The trip was overall very positive and open defecation was discussed. On a more recent outreach, the Mpoma team informed us that one of the new villages we sponsor is in the process of constructing a new bore hole. Currently, the hole is over 82 feet deep!  

Overall, we are ecstatic about the progress Mpoma has made so far and our GROW members can’t wait to meet the Mpoma team in person!

Things have been picking up at Mpoma!

In the past month, the Mpoma team had begun conducting WASH trainings at our new partner school-- St. Jude Secondary School in Katoogo village! This is the first secondary school Mpoma has worked with, and we are quite excited to be widening our reach.

One of the Water User Committees in Waluga village has been making great progress with their WASH trainings! This week they have had their second community-wide WASH training in two months, and the results are already evident. In the past month, five new handwashing stations have been set up throughout the community, latrines have become noticeably cleaner, and village members have been better about cleaning their water vessels.

The Mpoma team has also found a new site for a water source-- the location is the site of Mpoma’s new poultry project, funded by a grant from GoCampaign. The project is located at the owner of Mpoma’s house, where most boarding students spend their vacations from school. This water source will both help the project’s success (the proceeds of which go toward paying Johnson Nkosi’s teacher salaries), as well as serve more rural community members.

Last but not least, the GROW team has officially booked their flights to Uganda. They will be leaving on June 11th to begin their internships at Mpoma!

As we begin Spring quarter, we are beginning the final push in our fundraising efforts in order to make our commitment. It’s a lot of work, but we are confident we will get there!

February was an exciting month for Mpoma!

Over the past few weeks, Peter Wandera, the manager of Mpoma Community HIV/AIDS Initiative, finished and sent out this year’s Annual Report. The document includes updates and highlights from 2015 of Mpoma’s various projects, including Johnson Nkosi Memorial Primary School and our WASH project. This year’s Annual Report also delineates a few key themes that the WASH project will be focusing on in 2016:

1. Hand-washing with soap

2. Safe feces disposal (with emphasis on the reduction of open defecation)

3. Safe drinking water (using the Safe Water Chain)

4. Personal hygiene for boys and girls (with emphasis on menstrual hygiene for the girls)

While these themes have always been central to the WASH project, this year we are really working to actively promote behavioral change, rather than taking a more passive educational approach.

Another exciting announcement from February: our new GROW team has officially begun training for their on-site work this summer! They attended a training institute hosted by the GlobeMed Global Headquarters in Chicago, and are very excited to assume their new roles in our partnership.

Lastly, due to our GlobeMed chapter’s outstanding fundraising efforts, we managed to send Mpoma our first wire transfer last week! We send our annual commitment-- $11,000 for the 2015-2016 school year-- in two installments. In the past, our February installment has been around $4,000, but this year we sent Mpoma $6,988! This is an incredible accomplishment, and hopefully a good sign that we’ll actually surpass our commitment this year. On behalf of Mpoma and GlobeMed at UCLA, I would like to thank all of you donors, who helped us reach this goal!

As exciting as February was, there are many exciting things to look forward to in March! The Mpoma team has already drafted their work plan for the month, and GlobeMed has already begun planning fundraisers for Spring Quarter-- let’s keep the momentum going!


December was a very eventful month for Mpoma Community HIV/AIDS Initiative. The second biannual WASH Training meeting took place on December 11, 2015, due entirely to the incredible organizational efforts of our partners on ground. The speakers invited included a doctor from the clinic, a representative from the local sub-county government, and most excitingly, representatives from a couple of the Water User Committees. Topics on the agenda ranged from waterborne illnesses to sanitation demonstrations, and a great deal of time was allotted for group discussion regarding WUC progress. This meeting was an excellent opportunity for WUCs to share concerns and trade success stories, providing them with new insight that will hopefully help them kick off the new year with a new edge.


Other exciting updates:

  • Three out of five WUCs have now opened savings accounts at the local bank, allowing them to receive the matching funds they were awarded in June.
  • The newest water source, Lukalu II, has begun receiving water and is now officially functional.
  • The core Mpoma team has just been joined by a representative from the Waluga WUC, making it even easier for the WUCs to voice their opinions.


It’s looking like 2016 is going to be Mpoma’s most productive year yet!


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Organization Information

GlobeMed at UCLA

Location: Los Angeles, California - USA
Website: http:/​/​​impact/​ucla/​
Project Leader:
Naeha Lakshmanan
Los Angeles, California United States

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