Weyonje! A community working hard for good hygiene and sanitation

Elizabeth Kisembo, 56, and her son Christopher Tumwine, 33, standing by their newly installed gate which stops people from passing through their home to the other side of the settlement. Elizabeth now feels more secure because of the reduced risk of c ...
Image: WaterAid/ James Kiyimba

This year’s country-wide lockdown has shown us just how important our communities are for solving problems collectively. Whether we’re cooking meals for NHS staff, delivering groceries to vulnerable neighbours or finding new ways to school children – without our local networks life’s obstacles would be much harder to overcome.

It’s no different in Uganda, where there are some very big obstacles to everyone living a healthy, happy life. 6 in 10 people in Uganda don’t have access to clean water, forcing them to risk their health by drinking dirty water and stopping them from being able to wash their hands and protect themselves from illnesses like COVID-19.

What’s more, 8 in 10 people don’t have a decent toilet – adding to the difficulty of maintaining good hygiene. Without decent toilets people are forced to relieve themselves out in the open, which is not only undignified and unsafe, but also means waste and germs can pollute the area or nearby water sources.

But thanks to the work of innovative and passionate local groups, some communities are beginning to see change. One such group is Weyonje, which works in Kamwokya, a slum in the capital Kampala. They teach others in the community about the importance of good hygiene.

In 2019 we followed Weyonje, and their leader Chris, to film their work and witness an exciting moment for Kamwokya. Watch our film, supported by the H&M Foundation, to see what the team achieved (play the video full-width for the best experience!):