Twekembe slum is located in Naguru, Kampala, in a valley between two hills. It is home to around 4,000 residents, many of whom are refugees from war areas or have moved to Kampala from the villages to find work.
The land is owned by many landlords and suffers from poor drainage, and so is not in great demand and is not well maintained. Those who have work here find low-skilled jobs in poor working conditions and cannot find decent alternative places to live.
The drainage was never well designed. It is dangerous during heavy rains, due to the fast flow of water and flooding. And it is dirty and often contaminates the water supply, not only due to a lack of waste disposal facilities, but inadequate toilets and overflowing, badly designed latrines. The Council provided a container for household waste, but it was overflowing before it was removed and then never replaced. Local residents resorted to throwing rubbish in the drainage trenches. Stagnant water encourages malaria and contaminated water from waste in the drainage has been causing outbreaks of cholera.
The slum has two pit latrines that serve the whole area, including the Church and local school. This was full for many months, even up to two years, according to local residents, when the Project officers visited the site. The latrines are open and dirty and when it rains they overflow. Some residents had no choice but to throw faeces in plastic bags into the drainage channels, with their household waste, running the risk of contaminating their water supply. The Council provided one toilet, which is managed by a local landlord. However, with a charge per person, many residents cannot afford to use it. The standard of these toilets is poor and badly designed, resulting in contamination of the water.
Clean, running water is also scarce. There are one or two taps in the whole area, which were provided by local donors. To provide more adequate supplies, however, requires negotiation and probably compensation with local landlords, residents are unable to organise or finance.
Due to the low standard of living and sanitary conditions in the slum, the health of residents is poor. There is no hospital nearby and residents have to walk long distances to reach the hospital. The nearest clinic is in Naguru, but is always full. The low quality of housing also contributes to poor health. Work is needed alongside landlords to build rooms for rent that are protected from flooding and have sufficient ventilation to prevent the spread of illness.
There are many children living in the slum. The school serves around 300 pupils, set up privately by local teachers. Due to low pay and a lack of facilities, the standard is low, and many children even do not attend.
To improve the basic living conditions and safety of the residents of Naguru kamwokya slum, the Project team is looking for partners to provide funds, technical and practical support to help improve and create more better-designed drainage channels, provide containers for waste disposal, build toilets and improve the standard of sanitation, to install taps with clean, running water and provide some clothes and basic education materials for the children. Thus the project name ‘twekembe’ meaning ‘let’s work together and help each other’.
(Text supplied by the Twekembe Slum Project)
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