By Gloria Kembabazi
At least three primary schools in Kampala walked away with cash prizes and trophies after emerging winners in the recently concluded hygiene behavioral change campaign school competitions.
The hygiene school competitions were organized by Population Services International Uganda (PSIU) in partnership with Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) with an aim of promoting behavioral change among primary school going children.
Central division took lead with two of its schools emerging first and second at the City level competition. Nakivubo Primary School emerged overall best winning a cash prize of Ugx 2.5M, Buganda road primary school took up the second position, winning Ugx 2M and St. Peters Primary school Nsambya from Makindye division was the third, winning a cash prize of Ugx 1M.
The schools competed in five items including the WASH prayer, WASH song, poem, creative dance and drama skit under the theme “Be Clean, stay Healthy.” The items compromised the schools all conveyed the message about proper hygiene in schools and communities.
While awarding the winners, Mrs. Juliet Namuddu the Director of Education and Social Services at KCCA applauded the pupils from properly exhibiting the WASH message through their acting talents coupled with emotions.
“We have seen actors and actresses display their talents here, I believe with the new curriculum these pupils will be able to develop their talents even further while in and out of school,” she said.
The Director further appreciated PSI Uganda, KCCA and other partners such as Water Aid for developing messages to support the WASH initiative and choosing to implement it through Music, Dance and Drama which she believes it will impact hygiene behavioral change among pupils.
Mr. Peter Buyungo, the Programs Director at Population Services International Uganda (PSIU) pointed out that PSI Uganda targets social behavior change campaigns to provide life-saving information, products, and services to tackle some of the country’s most pressing health problems so that people can lead healthier, happier, and more productive lives.
He thanked the pupils and teachers for embracing the campaign through displaying messages that were a clear call for inclusivity and high vigilance on hygiene in homes and public places like schools. Buyungo urged the pupils to carry the messages with them and be ambassadors of proper hygiene in their communities.
The school competitions were part of the hygiene behavioral change campaign which has been ongoing in 50 primary schools in the five divisions of Kampala. The schools competed first at division level from which the best two schools from each division participated further at the city level competition.
All the 50 participating schools received a washalot and WASH wall branding supported by PSI Uganda with support of the U.K. government, through UKAID and Unilever, who have partnered with the Government of Uganda to strengthen the health system through various investments such as HBCC II.
PSI Uganda’s HBCC objectives were successfully achieved through close collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Water and Environment, Kampala Capital City Authority and the five division councils, the World Health Organization, Amref Health Africa, Brands on a Mission, Unilever, the National Business Compact on Coronavirus (NBCC), UNICEF, Water Aid Uganda, and other implementing partners.