80 percent of the people in Uganda live in villages. The villages are made of small houses some times smaller than a garage. The houses in very rural parts of the country are made of mud and are thatched with grass.
There are now an increasing number of houses with corrugated iron roofs in many villages. The walls are constructed using reeds and sticks. Uganda has an extended family system
where other relatives and distant relations may sometimes live in the same house. Sometimes the small huts can house up to 12 or more people. The huts are divided into 2 sections, normally a curtain or wall.
The inner section is where every one will sleep and the outer part is where food is prepared and served. People sit on mats in a circle while eating and the food is placed in the middle where every one picks their share and eats with their hands. Some times if the family owns Chickens or goats, they will be kept in the same hut, in a small room attached to the main house.
A village fire place for cooking
There are no ceilings in the huts and the walls are often very dark stained by smoke from the cooking place although there are small holes for ventilation in the walls.
The corrugated iron houses are normally bigger in size and have more space. Most houses will have 1 or 2 bedrooms and the kitchen will be in a smaller building beside the main house.
A Small village house
The bathrooms are small rooms out side the house in most cases with a concreted floor. Plastic bowls are used to collect water which is then collected and thrown over your body using your hands. Sometimes one can pick up the bowl and tip the water over their head and then the water goes out through a small hall in the floor.
The toilet is outside the main house or hut. It is called a pit latrine, which is basically a deep pit covered with concrete or mud to make a hole in the ground.
The homes in the country are lit by paraffin candles called “Tadoobba”. This is because most homes have no access to Electricity.
Water in the villages
Water is normally collected from the well, river or spring. Fetching water is mainly done by the children and it is either in the mornings or evenings, because most of them will be away at school for most of the day.
Water is collected in plastic gallons and containers or sometimes in pots made of clay. The journey to the well is often long and involves climbing high hills and going through valleys. Sometimes the well or river is used by cattle keepers to water their animals so when collected by people, the water has to be boiled before use to kill any germs and remove any impurities.
In the recent years piped water has been introduced and can be pumped out of the ground using a water pump. Water pumps are still very few but are a better alternative for domestic water use.
Family life in the village
Polygamy is still common in Uganda where one man can marry more than one wife and as a result some families have very many children.
There is how ever a very strong sense of community in Uganda and raising children is seen as every one’s responsibility, it is not just left to the parents. The extended family system in Uganda is very strong.