Leading By Example: Godfrey Nkutu Mpala is Improving Sanitation in his Community
Godfrey’s decision to invest in a toilet was derived from the love for his community and the fact that he is a leader who aspires to lead by example.
“Good sanitation is good for us all. On this note every person who comes to my hardware store is encouraged to improve their sanitation.” Says Godfrey Nkutu Mapala. Godfrey is the village chairman of Kibinga A who decided to invest in an improved toilet with a cement floor fixed with a SATO pan after attending a masons training.
The training was conducted with the support USAID's Uganda Sanitation for Health Activity (USAID USHA) and was part of the activities implemented under the Market-Based Sanitation Implementation Approach (MBSIA). A model used by the project to move households from unimproved to improved sanitation.
The mason training opened Godfrey’s eyes to the benefits of improved sanitation such as prevention of diseases and odors from unimproved toilets and earning dignity and respect from his community through owning an improved toilet. After the training, Godfrey, took a first step as a leader by first improving his home sanitation status before preaching the same in his community. Godfrey later invested in toilet construction immediately after the mason training.
Back home, Godfrey collected construction material, sought for a pit digger and the services of the USAID USHA - trained local mason, Yosia Kitamirike, to assist with the toilet construction job. Godfrey has gone ahead together with Yosia to share the lessons learned and knowledge from the training with other members of the community and inspired them to improve or construct new improved toilets that have a cement floor with walls and roofing constructed using permanent materials. Among the people that Godfrey has positively influenced is Sarah Kinawa, who upgraded her toilet by making the floor washable. Partel, also a member of Irungo subcounty, has dug a toilet pit with an aim of constructing a permanent and washable toilet. “What USAID USHA is doing in this community of Kibinga should be extended to other areas to improve their sanitation. This will improve our health through prevention of diseases like diarrhea that has been rampant in this village because of poor sanitation,” said Godfrey.
Godfrey applauds USAID USHA’s approach to improving sanitation as it encourages collective efforts of all value chain actors such as masons, pit diggers, hardware stores, SACCOs. The community leader also commends the USAID USHA model for not only improving sanitation services and products access, but also for creating a profitable business environment, that is increasing their own personal income and strengthening local economies.
Today, Godfrey sells an average of 30 bags of cement in three to four days unlike before. This has greatly changed his life. He testifies, “ever since I started implementing what USAID USHA taught us during the training, for example working with masons, there has been a notable improvement in my business, and now I can comfortably take care of my extended family as well as contribute to improving the sanitation in my community. Thanks to USAID USHA!”