When the United Nations – that is, the organization that brings the countries of the world to the negotiating table – formulates goals that apply to the whole world, they are generally well thought out and thoroughly discussed. On the issues that affect everyone because we all inhabit the same planet, formulated goals provide important guidance for the governments, which implement them, but also for the non-governmental organizations that use them as a guideline for their actions.
The “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDG) came into force on January 1st, 2016. They are scheduled for 15 years; they cover no less than 17 areas. Some of the headings already sound very ambitious, for example when “no poverty” and “zero hunger” are promised for the end of this period. But everything suggests setting yourself big goals in the face of great challenges.
MIVA’s procurement company (BBM) works directly to implement the sustainable development goals. We did not wait for the UN target to be formulated, but have been realizing technical projects in rural areas of Africa since 1995. It is about supplying people with water and energy and better equipping hospitals and medical facilities. From the very beginning, the BBM has paid attention to sustainability and ensured that nature and the climate are treated with care. Of the 17 development goals of the UN, four are of central importance for the BBM:
3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts by regulation emissions and promoting developments in renewable energy
Hospital St. Kizito, since 1998
One of the BBM’s first projects in Uganda was the laundry at St. Kizito Hospital in Matany, north-eastern Uganda. An Ebola epidemic in 2000 and 2001 showed that the hospital’s hygiene standards urgently needed to be improved. The main focus was on the laundry. In Matany – as is still the case today in some hospitals in the country – the hospital washes were done by hand and sometimes with cold water. That doesn’t kill bacteria; the risk of transmission of pathogens is great. The BBM installed a solar system that supplied the laundry with hot water. A partition-washing machine that is loaded in one room and unloaded in the other now ensured the necessary hygiene. Ebola has not been an issue for some time. However, the washing machine is getting old. After many repairs, it is still in operation. Due to the old age of the machine, the operation costs increase, so that a new purchase is considered.
St. Kizito has remained an important BBM project partner over the years. The water supply and wastewater treatment have also been modernized. Water tanks, pipe systems, pumps, new toilets and a central plant-based sewage treatment plant enable the recycling of wastewater and have significantly reduced the pollution of the groundwater.