I started my work at Caritas in October 2001 as a social worker/driver and climbed the leader up to being the director for the last four years. Caritas Gulu Archdiocese is the Emergency Relief and Development arm of the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Gulu. Caritas Gulu Archdiocese is a confederation of Caritas Uganda and Caritas International. It is a commission with a pastoral obligation to offer charity and hope to the most disadvantaged members of society. We operate in all of the Acholi sub-region. For more details of our work, I invite you to visit our website.
Promotion of Sanitation and Hygiene using Performance Improvement and Learning in Sanitation and Hygiene (PILS)
Caritas Gulu Archdiocese mixes both software and hardware provision in its package of support to communities that are targeted. The most popular software project was the PILS project, which, though with an Action Research component, dwelt on helping stakeholders improve coordination and harmonized approaches to sanitation and hygiene services. PILS was funded by Austrian Development Agency through IRC and implemented by Caritas and NETWAS. I am very proud that PILS project helped to bring to life a Multi-Stakeholder Platform to share experiences on Sanitation and Hygiene in a bid to improve Coordination and Harmonize approaches. The common PILS Stakeholders in the three districts include DWO, DHI, DEO, S/C Chiefs, CDOs from six sub-counties of PILS operation, Secretary Work, Health Assistants, L.CIII, Media houses, teachers and NGOs under WASH in the different district. In 2011, 6 District Learning Platforms, 7 Sub County level platforms and 1 Inter-district Capacity Building event were organized to share experiences and appreciate individual contribution to sanitation and hygiene. As an impact of this intervention, the Regional Learning Platform is now created with support from UWASNET and NETWAS this is a big credit to us.
PILS has helped revive commitment towards the rejuvenation of Sub County level structures, especially the Sub County Water and Sanitation Coordination Committees (SWSCC), with the hope that it will lead the inclusion of lower levels, and primary needs onto the district agenda. This is also vital in promotion of specific planning for sanitation and hygiene needs, which have often been overlooked at Sub County and Parish units. As strength PILS was instrumental in facilitating CLTS and ECOSAN technologies of Fossa-alterna and Arbor-loo toilets. At the end of the project in March 2012, 6 Sub Counties had these technologies demonstrated at household and school levels, as well as CLTS in several villages.
My biggest challenge has been in the area of promotion of software component. People do not seem to appreciate the outcome of hygiene promotion, unstable fuel prices with fixed donor budget, bad roads, land conflicts, epidemic disease, and different approaches by NGOs to community on technology adoption strategy.
The bulk of my future plan/dream now is to restore hope by setting former IDPs to the path of normal livelihoods and self reliance with emphasis on technological transfer and the area of agriculture and marketing. However, in the past, experience has shown that issues of conflict and governance have been critical in determining the trend of development work. It is therefore imperative to consider mainstreaming issues of promotion of PILS, conflict sensitivity and good governance into our development work. I thank you all for your time reading my work.
John Bosco Komakech Aludi is the director of Caritas Gulu Archdiocese