They say, two wrongs don’t make a right, but for the Ruparelia Foundation, the charity-arm of the Ruparelia Group, two of Kampala’s biggest environmental and sanitation problems- plastic waste and poor toilet access, might have created an opportunity to change lives.
Ruparelia Foundation saves the day
The dire situation of the school, caught the attention of the Ruparelia Foundation who were in search of a legacy project in Kampala City. The Group in December 2019, using part proceeds from the 2019 Royal Ascot Goat Races, commissioned the building of a 6-stance toilet- 2 for boys, 2 for girls and 2 for teachers.
The races were sponsored by SanyuFm, Speke Resort Munyonyo, NTV Uganda, Yo Kuku, Euroflex, Orient Bank, Brussels Airlines, Shell Gas, Farm Equipment & Construction Ltd and Robbialac Paints.
But this was no ordinary toilet project. It is built using a special brick— the eco-brick. A product of the Ghetto Research Labs, a community-based NGO in Kampala’s Kamwokya slums, the brick is made out of stuffing and compacting polythene bags, commonly known as kaveera into used plastic bottles and sealing it off with a cap. A one-litre bottle can accommodate up to 750 kaveera while a 500ml bottle takes in up to 200 bags. The eco-bricks are then used as substitutes for normal clay bricks that are then used along with normal cement and sand mortar to erect wall structures.
Rajiv Ruparelia, a trustee of Ruparelia Foundation, has expressed interest to build 50 more eco-friendly toilets in different parts of Uganda serving underprivileged communities as a way of promoting healthy living and saving the environment.