Meet Sylvia, Mpudde Village’s Sanitation Champion

Speeches Shim

Monday, July 6, 2020
Sylvia Nadengo

Forty-nine-year old Sylvia Nadengo, a farmer and mother of nine, lives in Mpudde village in eastern Uganda’s Buyende district. She has taken on the role of championing improved sanitation in her community by forming a sanitation committee to construct improved toilets.

Sylvia attended an information session which sparked her interest to improve sanitation in her home and community. The information session was part of USAID’s Sanitation for Health Activity. USAID works to help households adopt improved toilets and hand-washing facilities by partnering with business to make these products and services more accessible. USAID also increases demand for these products and services through door-to-door promotions and information sessions.

Like many others who attended the session, Sylvia had no toilet at home. Aside from explaining the need for sanitation and hygiene, the session gave her the confidence and know-how to proceed with the improvements. Inspired by what she learned, Sylvia used her income from selling maize, cassava and beans to finance construction of an improved toilet for her family. She then took the lead in forming a sanitation group in her village. The group consists of seven household representatives who together and to improve every group member’s household sanitation status. 

“Each member contributes 20,000 shillings [about $5] monthly and the collected funds are given to one member at the end of the month.” This money is used to dig a pit and construct a toilet slab. “With the slab in place, it is easy for the household to complete the structure,” explained Sylvia. For quality toilet construction work, the team uses masons and pit diggers that were trained by USAID, ensuring the structures are built sustainably.

This collective funding strategy has since benefited five households. Sylvia is happy and proud to be a model for sanitation in her village. She says, “Our Nabakyala,” or village woman representative, “improved her toilet and also installed a hand washing facility after visiting my household.”  Sylvia continued, “Thanks to USAID my toilet no longer has houseflies or a bad smell, and we haven’t experienced diseases such as diarrhoea in my home.”