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    Safety, dignity and hygiene

    Day 136

    A Latrine All Their Own

    What a relief! All jokes aside – having a place near your home to use the bathroom makes a big difference. It often means people stay safer and live in more hygienic conditions. That’s why it was so important to Jimmy, ARC’s logistics officer in Nakivale, to make sure some of the most vulnerable families (elderly and female-headed household) have latrines.

    Jimmy had a list of such families. So on DAY 136, we got them some of the basic supplies they needed to put up their own latrines. That included 4 large logs to use as a base and a latrine platform and cover. $500 allowed us to purchase supplies for 60 families and their latrines, and the vendor tossed in an extra set of logs to make it 61 (THANK YOU!)!

    Before we arrived, families had excavated pits for their latrines, about 2 feet wide, 5 feet long and at least 10 feet deep. They also got a hold of bricks to make a structure around the latrine. The logs and latrine platform and cover were put in place and then the families did the rest.

    Semakamba Yowas is an elderly man who came to Nakivale from Rwanda three years ago and lives on his own in a small home set way back from the road. For three years, he’s never had a latrine. “I’ve been using my neighbor’s latrine,” said Semakamba. “ It’s been hard. I don’t have a lot of energy, so it’s been difficult to always have to go all the way to my neighbor’s whenever I need to use the bathroom.”

    Jimmy and the ARC team showed Semakamba some tricks, like how to tie a string to the latrine cover for easy removal and replacement. A neighbor’s son helped him to excavate and then helped him build the latrine structure.

    As we were leaving, Semakamba waved goodbye,“Thank you, I’m so happy that I now have my own latrine.”

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    Changemakers 365

    by Alight


    The world’s tough problems can seem insurmountable. So at Alight, while we tackle those big problems we also do what’s doable. Right then. And that’s what Changemakers 365 is all about. Learn more!


    Changemakers 365 members give either $30 per month or a one-time gift of $365 (it’s free for anyone who has ever lived in a refugee camp). Join us!

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