There is no clean running water so children are frequently sent to obtain water from wells and ponds and carry the water back in large plastic cans on their heads and shoulders. These cans are very heavy. The water is then boiled so that it can be used. There are no roads as we understand them here, but at best dirt tracks with dangerous ruts. In driving anywhere you need to be a skilled driver to survive without injury to yourself or the vehicle.
The communities and families of this part of Uganda have been decimated by AIDS, malaria, cholera, grinding poverty and very poor health care. On a personal level the conditions here can be shattering to witness.
For Europeans, one of the great challenges is coping with the very fine dust everywhere which gets into your eyes, nose, ears, mouth and clothing and which contains jiggers, a maggot which buries under toe nails.
Walking through the Ugandan countryside covered by this project you will find large numbers of malnourished children, often being looked after by an elderly grandparent because parents are dead or have just abandoned them.The sheer scale of this problem can be overwhelming. Polygamy is practised and men, fathers, routinely abandon their families and take another wife. Without question it is the women who hold families ( where they exist ) and communities together.
Homes, where they exist, are very poor and many structurally unsafe. Some are no more than grass huts with only plaited banana mats as seating and no furniture.
Child mortality rates continue to be very high here and the malaria mosquito is a major killer. The average life expectancy for a Ugandan used to be 37 years and is now 40 years.
This part of Uganda is not for the squeamish and anyone visiting the area needs to fully understand and appreciate the serious challenges to life there. For most people who visit it is a life changing experience.