We recently had our second Katanga community clean up day.
Its hard to explain what Katanga is really like if you have never been to somewhere similar.
Life is hard and challenging for the families that call Katanga home.
There are no garbage collections, you pay for toilets and bathrooms and water. You live in one tiny room, sometimes with more than one family sharing a space.
Due to the lack of bathroom facilities etc - many have to go to the bathroom in garbage bags etc - while there is a fine for this - many still do it and dispose of it at night time into the water channels etc.
Obviously you can imagine this is not good for the health of the residents or the environment.
And yet these people are happy and joyful and very resilient.
And those we are working with a determined to make a difference in their community.
After our WASH program earlier in the year we asked the families what we can do to improve the hygiene and sanitation and rubbish disposal.
One of the idea's they said was that we should run a community clean up.
So we did the first one in July and it was a huge success.
he families asked for it to be a monthly event.
One day we hope that this can be the case - but for now it will be quarterly.
The one we had a few weeks ago was a whole family event this time. We held it on a Saturday and had all our read for life children join with their parents for the clean up.
We all arrived early on the Saturday - put on our gloves and got in to picking up rubbish, digging out trenches and water channels. It was a big job - but with 300 plus people spread out over all of Katanga we were able to make a huge impact in just a matter of hours.
We also had lots of opportunities to share about The Mbuyu Foundation and the importance of proper garbage disposal and good hygiene.
We even had great support from Katangas new local council member - who not only provided much support practically but helped to increase awareness and local business support.
We had one of the local TV stations send along a reporter who interviewed the local council member, along with Rob and myself and some of the women who attend our programs.
They all shared about how The Mbuyu Foundation was making a difference in the lives of people living in Katanga.
Hearing what the women and the council had to say that night when it was broadcast it was incredibly humbling.
I was very moved as i thought about all the people all over the world who are helping the people who call Katanga home to improve their own lives.
They are the real heros - they are doing the work - we are just helping to facilitate that.
The LC ( local council member) even rang us that night to congratulate us on a great day and to say he and his members had been walking around Katanga and could not believe the difference we had all made!
We now look forward to the next one in the new year and are working on ways we can make a bigger impact on the rubbish issue in Katanga.
One of the current thoughts is if we could install large bins all around Katanga and we provide the man power to empty them to the council pick up place each week.
We are in talks on a design for a bin that will not be stolen and can be fixed in to place.
For this project to be undertaken we will need to find a support or partner who will help us to fund that.
Do you have a passion for environmental or hygiene change? Or maybe you know of a local organisation or group who may be willing to partner with us in our endeavour to improve not only the health but the environmental impact of Katanga slum here in Uganda.