Masons, pit diggers and hardware dealers from the districts of Namutumba, Luuka, Buyende and Kaliro are undergoing a five-day training on Market Based Sanitation Implementation Approach (MBSIA), a new sanitation network delivery model.
Developed by Uganda Sanitation for Health Activity (USHA), in partnership with Tetra Tech ARD, Inc and Sanitation Solutions Group (SSG), the MBSIA model is currently being rolled out in districts in Central East and Central West Uganda with the Busoga region being the first recipients of the training.
The network model involves the recruitment, training and intentional linking of local actors to deliver desirable toilet models to households in target communities.
The local actors involved in the model include masons, pit diggers, material suppliers/hardware stores, Sanitation Promoters (SPs) and local financiers. Networks will be supported by SSG and USHA staff for an initial period of 12 months beginning in September 2019.
More than 30 masons, pit diggers and hardware dealers attended the trainings which covered technical aspects of toilet construction, base product, latrine upgrades, and construction of new single stance and double stance latrines. The trainings are being led by Eng. Paul Kimera and Osbert Atwijukye, including two of SSG’s master mason trainers.
Speaking after the first training in Kaliro District, at Kasokwe Sub county on Monday 2nd September, Mr Stephen Anecho, the USHA Business Development Manager, said the selected districts were considered high priority due to the high numbers of households having unimproved latrines mostly because it is wrongly assumed that latrine upgrades are costly.
“We held the training here to help demystify the common adage around toilets being expensive but also retooling the masons so that they learn how to optimize costs by using less materials as result of advising the pit diggers on right pit dimensions and optimizing materials used,” Mr Anecho said.
The masons are the most critical component of the MBSIA model, acting as the focal point enterprise to aggregate information and offer services to households interested in purchasing a toilet.
The main objective of this activity is to therefore equip masons with the necessary skills to play their role as focal point enterprises in the MBSIA network model.
It also aims at orienting masons on using the support documents such as the mason’s pocket guide and other tools that will aid their interaction with households and other aspects of running a successful sanitation business. It will also orient masons with necessary communication and facilitation skills to interact effectively with other network actors such as the sanitation promoters, households and other actors.
The selected masons will also be supported with equipment (i.e. latrine construction molds) to support the MBSIA model in practice.
“We envisage increasing uptakes on latrine upgrades from unimproved to washable slabs. This will be a game changer if the community picks interest in the optimized products,” Mr Anecho concluded.
The trainings will next week be held in Jinja, Buikwe and Kayunga before moving to Gomba, Sembabule and Bukomansibi. Mpigi, Lwengo and Kyotera will be the last recipients.