Sanitation week, working in a new district and a minor earthquake in Gulu

I woke up to an EARTHQUAKE!!!  At first I thought it must be my imagination…maybe just a big truck going by.   I’ve never heard of earthquakes around here.  But I live in Los Angeles.   I know an earthquake when I feel it.   Later I confirm that we definitely had a small earthquake here in Gulu, Uganda.

Next we began our assessments in a newly formed district called Lamwo, bear near the border of Uganda and Sudan.   The area is very needy and the local district leaders were very happy to meet with us.  Because this was such a remote part of another larger district, these communities have been somewhat overlooked by the aid groups. 

We met with the district, the school officials, education officials, general planning officials, to gather all the data they had compiled on schools, water coverage and plans the district already has for the year.  It’s important for them to know what we are planning so we do not conflict with other organizations, also working in the areas.  This is more likely to happen in the post conflict areas, especially somewhere like northern Uganda.  There are many aid groups here dealing with former child soldiers, resettling villagers after decades of living in camps, and food shortages.   Although we are providing clean water, it’s important to coordinate with everyone. 

Next we head to Lira for a few days to check on completed projects. This is Global Sanitation Week and, in recognition, we are planning to officially hand over our most recent eco-sanitation system in Lira to the school and community.   We scheduled the handing over celebration for tomorrow.  The local papers are covering the event and local officials are attending.

A team from western also Uganda contacted us about visiting our toilets.  They came with five people, including their engineers and were very curious about the technology. It really is an innovative system that interests everybody.

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Author: Stacey Travis

Founder and Executive Director of Drop in the Bucket a water charity building water wells and sanitation systems at schools in Africa.

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