The Mt. Elgon region of Uganda is reported to have the highest rates of landslides and floods in the country with devastating effects on the livelihood of people. Population increase is a very significant driver to landslide occurrences and it also increases the risk as many people settle in the steep slopes with high landslide hazard. The communities in this area because of low literacy levels rarely use family planning methods. Under-age marriages have also been identified as a contributing factor to a fast growing population. The level of education is low and 60% of the communities have attained primary level education and 10% have no formal education. This makes it difficult for many to easily understand the conservation measures that reduce landslide disasters.
The key primary effects to landslides and floods in the Mt. Elgon region include loss of life and injuries, destruction of infrastructure, destruction of farm land and livestock and destruction of property and business. In the long run, communities with broken sanitation facilities, disrupted education systems, malnutrition and poverty are susceptible to secondary effects such as famine, disease outbreak like cholera, Typhoid and other public health concerns .
Elgon Wildlife conservation Organization is working with partners to implement an integrated Conservation with Population, Health, and Environment (PHE) and WASH (Water Sanitation and Hygiene ) project whose approach is based on the premise that people’s health and the environments in which they live are inextricably linked. A functioning ecosystem sustains life and provides the necessary services for human well-being. The aim of our PHE and WASH projects is to improve access to reproductive and other health services , access to clean water and sanitation services for vulnerable populations in rural and ecologically threatened areas, while at the same time empowering these communities to manage their natural resources in ways that benefit their livelihoods. By linking these issues, people are increasingly motivated to change behaviors that threaten their health and environment.
Our intergrated PHE , WASH and conservation approach proposes that close collaboration and coordination across multiple sectors contributes to holistic results—people with improved health outcomes, diversified livelihoods, and stronger, more sustainable ecosystems.