By Ashimwe Bruno and Kaggwa Aggrey
As the world commemorated International Labor Day on 1st May 2021, student members of United Nations Association of Uganda (UNAU) Makerere University (MUK) partnered with African Youth Leadership Forum (AYLF) members of MUK and YMCA to clean Wandegeya Market. It is among the improved markets in Uganda serving a big population of students and people from the city centre.
In Uganda of a population of 43 million people only 18% of population have access to safely managed and basic sanitation, 49% of the population have access to safely managed and basic service drinking water, 4 diarrhea related death case of children under 5yrs per every 1000 live birth occur (adopted from water aid). These figures can change from bad to worse especially with emerging high urbanization, population, swamp reclamation and poor water resource management.
This cleaning exercise was thus aimed at promoting SDG 6 “Ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” within the community of Wandegeya in the market. Through it, we hoped to inspire fellow youths to be actively involved and responsible of their own societies and play their role in promoting clean sanitation. As change agents, the responsibility as leaders starts today not in the future. As such, we believe every step taken by the young people in different capacities is better than for every condition to be perfect in order to have an impact, which might never come to pass.
As we interacted with the janitors of the market, Councilor Rose Kaitesi and the market community at large, we learned the joy of making positive impact in society instead of blaming government systems. The Wandegeya market community appreciated the youths with words and gifts of fruits, sodas, Vegetables and the rest of the cleaning equipment plus labor support that they gave to us.
We are looking forward to partnering more with our society for such initiatives and keep making more steps towards making this world a better place. Change starts now. Water is life and a healthy body is healthy mind.
Written by: Kaggwa Aggrey (Director Programs and Protocol UNAU MUK Chapter) and Ashimwe Bruno(Treasure UNAU MUK Chapter)
Edited by: Destiny Gladys Chaiga (In-Charge Clubs and Chapters)