By Lucy de Latour, EACO Uganda Volunteer
Blog first published in Under African Skies
Lucy de Latour trained as a lawyer and has worked in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom. She spent two months in Uganda during 2012, volunteering through an organisation called The Real Uganda, which places international volunteers in grassroots organisations. During this time she spent a month volunteering with Empowerment and Care Organisation (EACO Uganda) - Safe World Field Partner in central Uganda.
After spending two months in Uganda, I think the thing that I still find most astounding is that, despite the amount it rains, there is a huge lack of ready access to clean water.
Mukono, where I am living, is a large town, there is access to piped water supplied by the council on some streets, but very few people use it due to the expense. Even the 'apartment' where I live has no running water (and believe me, the standard of accommodation where I am is much better than the houses most people in the community live in).
The water I use is collected from a rainwater tank at the bottom of the apartment complex (I live on the third floor).
While the distance it has to be carried is much less than most people face, it still means no running water. All water is carried and stored in jerry cans. There is no shower, no sink.
Plastic buckets serve as the shower, the kitchen sink, and the washing machine.
For me personally, having no running water isn't a hardship. My water is collected for me. A bucket shower is pretty effective and I have gotten used to traipsing outside to the pit toilet.
But I can't help think of all the people here in Uganda who have to walk to collect water and the difficulties water collection creates.
So, when the water pressure in your shower isn't quite what you hoped today, give a thought for those who don't even have the luxury of running water.
Lucy de Latour's blogspot: Under African Skies
EACO is situated in the Mukono District in central Uganda. The organisation works with vulnerable women, particularly widows and those living with HIV/AIDS, as well as vulnerable children, youth, and the elderly.
More than 27 million out of a population of 32 million people live in rural Uganda, the majority of whom have not been shielded from the harsh realities of poverty.
Lack of access to water and sanitation is already exposing rural women…