In WASH intervention communities, Africa Water Solutions often meets families that melt the team’s heart with joy after experiencing massive transformation. Occasionally, when we think of a house, we picture walls, a roof, windows, and doors; but when you fill those walls with families trying to build a better life for themselves and their children, that house becomes a home. We believe that a home is a foundation, a primary building block for healthy families. We are intentionally training these families to improve their sanitation by encouraging them to build their WASH facilities that translate to the elimination of WASH-related illnesses. Among these is Lumu Mitala’s household.

Meet Mitala, a 34-year-old living with his family in Kimbugu village, Ssi Bukunja Sub-county, Buikwe district. He and his wife, Nakkonde Faith, 32-year-old, have five children – aged between 12 years and 14 months old. Before receiving WASH training, the Mitalas suffered illnesses from drinking contaminated water. These illnesses resulted in hospital visits, which created unplanned medical expenses, taking a significant toll on the family whose source of income is as good as inexistent.

Mr. Mitala repairing the roof of his kitchen

The Mitala’s transformed home

The Mitala family has experienced a holistic transformation from AWS training in WASH best practices, drastically reducing the disease burden on their family. Our staff became more intentional in his household after several failed attempts to train him and his family members how to improve the WASH condition of their home.

On our initial visits, the family house was dilapidated and rugged; Mitala himself was elusive – he spent much of his time away from home. They had no kitchen, no handwashing facilities and were practising open defecation in the neighbouring bushes.

After triggering and training, we succeeded in getting Mitala to spend more time improving his home; he reinforced the leaking roof with better iron sheets and smeared his house walls to make them more firm and beautiful. Mr Mitala now has a proper latrine fitted with a satopan, handwashing facilities installed at the latrine area and entrance to his home, a good kitchen, and a dish rack. Together with his family, they practise SODIS to improve the quality of their drinking water hence reducing the diarrheal disease burden on the family.