Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Uganda WaSH Program

Impact: 285 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 12/06/2023

Project Features

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The only reliable water source for the 285 people living in Kaitabahuma, Uganda is the open stream. Community members make about 3 trips a day to the stream to get the water they need for everything from drinking to cooking, doing laundry, and washing dishes, among other uses. This area has a very deep water table, based on a hydrogeological study we conducted in 2019. That is why the few wells that were drilled more than a decade ago sit unused - because they did not tap into the water so far underground. Because of the geological formation of the area, it is also prohibitive to implement low-cost technologies such as shallow hand-dug wells.

That means, people must go to the most reliable water source: an open stream.

The stream is filled with runoff from farms and it is very turbid (full of particles) - making it unsafe for drinking. There is also a protected spring, but the spout was set too low so it is often submerged underwater. That pooled water then becomes unsafe as it sits stagnant throughout the day. People dip their containers into the water, making it even dirtier.

"Worm infestation in children could be due to this drinking water source," said one person we spoke with while visiting the community.

Our team also met Harriet Ochokuru, a 23-year-old mother of 3 children. She has lived in the area for 16 years.

When asked about water supply conditions for drinking in her community, she said, “It’s not good because I collect water from the open source down the valley. That is where all households in this community draw drinking water from. It's difficult in the rainy season because the water gets dirty from the runoff.”

When she is lucky, Harriet is able to collect rainwater in buckets that catch the water as it runs down her neighbor's roof. During the dry season, it is more challenging for Harriet. She told us the open source goes nearly dry, exposing the algae and other contaminants at the bottom of the stream. That means that most of the year Harriet and her children drink unsafe water.

“I heard from the Village Health Team that diarrhea and typhoid are caused by dirty water. My elder daughter Brigid has actually been diagnosed with typhoid and is now receiving treatment,” she told us.

Here’s what we’re going to do about it:

New Borehole

A new borehole is an exciting opportunity for this community. We will work with the community to determine the best possible site for this well. Since we already conducted a hydrogeological survey of the area, we are already prepared to dig a well deep enough to provide water throughout the year. By constructing a well in a location people can easily access, the community will be able to finally drink safe water that is easy to get.

Community members will contribute the sand and water needed for mixing the cement during construction. After setting up the rig, the drill team will begin the process of creating a new well. Once the well is drilled to a sufficient water column, it will be cased, developed, and then tested.


Training’s main objectives are the use of latrines and observing proper hygiene practices since these goals are inherently connected to the provision of clean water. Open defecation, water storage in unclean containers, and the absence of handwashing are all possible contaminants of a household water supply. Each participating village must achieve Open Defecation Free status (defined by 1 latrine per household) before the pump installation for a shallow hand-dug well.

This social program includes the assignment of 1 Community Development Officer (CDO) to each village. The CDO encourages each household to build an ideal homestead that includes a latrine, handwashing facility, a separate structure for animals, rubbish pit, and drying rack for dishes.

We also implement the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach with each of our village partners. This aims to improve the sanitation and hygiene practices and behaviors of a village. During these sessions, village leaders naturally emerge and push the community to realize that the current practices of individual households – particularly the practice of open defecation – are not only unhealthy but affect the entire village. CLTS facilitates a process in which community members realize the negative consequences of their current water, sanitation, and hygiene behaviors and are inspired to take action. Group interactions are frequent motivators for individual households to build latrines, use the latrines, and demand that other households do the same.

Improved Sanitation

The aim is that all households own an improved latrine. Many households do not use a latrine but use the bush. Due to open defecation, feces are spread all over the village. This leads to waterborne diseases and contamination of groundwater and surface water. Our aim is that the community is able to live a healthy life free of preventable diseases. We endeavor that at the end of our presence in the community, people will have both access to sustainable, clean water and access to sanitation. We have now organized families to form digging groups for latrine construction, and empowered them with tools they will need.

Project Updates

January, 2021: Kaitabahuma I Community Construction Complete!

Please note, all photos in this report were taken before social distancing recommendations went into effect.

A clean water well has been drilled in Kaitabahuma Community, Uganda! Community members have also attended training sessions during which they worked together to make a development action plan. They are working to build new facilities, tools, and habits that will improve living standards in Kaitabahuma.

New Borehole

We worked with the community to determine the best possible sites for this well. Some of the community members were willing to host the drilling technicians, giving them a place to sleep and food to eat. Many of them were there each day to watch the drilling.

When it came time to build the cement well pad, community members went out and found fine sand and water to mix the cement. After the cement platform dried, a stainless steel Consallen was installed and is now flowing with clean water.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sub-county and district stakeholders were not in attendance, though a few water users were present and the water source was handed over to them in the presence of their LC I and water user committee members for use. The secretary of the Water user committee gave a brief speech thanking us for constructing for them a new water point. The few users who were present expressed their excitement through singing, clapping hands, and dancing.


The community was mobilized through a series of meetings that sensitized them on the importance and purpose of saving. This included meetings to create a community profile (mapping physical environment and stakeholders in the community) and a participatory vulnerability capacity assessment exercise. In this exercise, community members mapped out their shared risks and opportunities, including the water point breaking down. The savings group training date was scheduled with the community.

A 1-day training was scheduled in 4 major parts: introduction, first saving meeting, first loan meeting, and share.

We worked with the community to establish both a Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) and a water user committee. The savings group set up a fund to provide small loans to each other and another fund that is used to pay for any repairs to the well if an issue arises. The group also agreed on a social fund that they contribute to each meeting to provide grants to fellow group members to help them with funeral expenses or catastrophes such as fire damage.

In collaboration with the community facilitator and natural leaders, we trained households on critical hygiene and sanitation facilities to build. Our teams are monitoring the construction of these facilities, such as latrines, dishracks, refuse pits, handwashing facilities, and bath shelters.

We have trained local artisans on how to fabricate and sell sanitation products that allow for more hygienic and accessible latrines.

Our teams will provide follow-up training to support putting the savings group into practice. Saving procedures and loans were understood and good skills and knowledge were gained from the sessions. However, continuous coaching will be required in records management.

In other training, the community conceptually understood the sanitation and hygiene parts but will need support and monitoring to ensure follow-through in building new facilities and developing new habits.

November, 2020: Kaitabahuma I Community project underway!

Dirty water is making people in Kaitabahuma I Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this community through the narrative and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation, and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with news of success!

Project Photos

Project Type

Abundant water is often right under our feet! Beneath the Earth’s surface, rivers called aquifers flow through layers of sediment and rock, providing a constant supply of safe water. For borehole wells, we drill deep into the earth, allowing us to access this water which is naturally filtered and protected from sources of contamination at the surface level. First, we decide where to drill by surveying the area and determining where aquifers are likely to sit. To reach the underground water, our drill rigs plunge through meters (sometimes even hundreds of meters!) of soil, silt, rock, and more. Once the drill finds water, we build a well platform and attach a hand pump. If all goes as planned, the community is left with a safe, closed water source providing around five gallons of water per minute! Learn more here!

A Year Later: Better School Performance and Hygiene!

February, 2022

A year ago, your generous donation helped Kaitabahuma I Community in Uganda access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Annet. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Kaitabahuma I Community.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kaitabahuma I Community maintain access to safe, reliable water. Together, they keep The Water Promise.

We’re confident you'll love joining this world-changing group committed to sustainability!

"Before this water point was completed, I used to collect water from open sources," said 13-year-old Annet. "I hated collecting water due to the long distance, and each time I hesitated to go and collect water, I would be [punished] by my mother."

But now that there's a new borehole well in Kaitabahuma I, Annet and her family no longer need to drink water from open sources.

"[I] am now happy that we drink clean and safe water," Annet continued. "Besides, I had never seen a borehole in my life, but [now I] am lucky that we now have one in our village. I also have a story to tell while at school."

Now that she has a source of clean water nearby, Annet's life has changed for the better.

"This water point has contributed a lot to my performance at school because it's nearer to home and I can access it at any time, which gives me ample time to concentrate on my academics," Annet concluded. "My personal hygiene has also improved since I now have enough water to wash my clothes and bathe regularly."

Navigating through intense dry spells, performing preventative maintenance, conducting quality repairs when needed and continuing to assist community leaders to manage water points are all normal parts of keeping projects sustainable. The Water Promise community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kaitabahuma I Community maintain access to safe, reliable water.

We’d love for you to join this world-changing group committed to sustainability.

The most impactful way to continue your support of Kaitabahuma I Community – and hundreds of other places just like this – is by joining our community of monthly givers.

Your monthly giving will help provide clean water, every month... keeping The Water Promise.