Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Uganda WaSH Program

Impact: 327 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Apr 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 11/17/2023

Project Features

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Community Profile

Alero B village is located 5 kilometers off the main Gulu-Kampala Highway in the Kiryandongo District of Uganda. The 327 people who live here make a living through subsistence farming and selling excess harvests in the local markets. One part of the village is made up of a rock which provides some jobs to people here who mine it to sell for construction and other uses.

Ogunga Primary School and Hill View Nursery School (considered 1 school system and located on the same compound) are found in the community with more than 250 students who attend. A borehole was drilled 2 years ago at the school, but this borehole dried up as the geophysical area has since changed. A nearby quarry was using explosives which have caused shifts in the water table and dried up the existing borehole.

Community members and the students now share the same water source - an open pond located more than a mile away from the school and most households. The open pond is covered with tree logs to prevent animals from using it and to keep kids from falling in. Despite that, the water is unsafe for drinking. There is visible pesticide residue from nearby farms and algae on top of the water. A water container has to be put directly in the water to collect it, an act that further contaminates the source.

"The water changes in color and taste during heavy rains. The place is always very crowded with very many people who come to fetch water," said Santa Biriyema, a local farmer we met while visiting the community.

The students who are selected to go fetch water inevitably miss part of the classroom learning every day. Drinking the unsafe water causes students to miss even more time at school due to the diseases they contract from it. The school also has challenges with cleaning the latrines and filling the handwashing facilities due to the lack of water available.

A new drilled water point is needed to provide clean and safe water for the community and the school. The clean water is going to reduce the risks of children fetching from the deep scoop hole and the diseases associated with drinking contaminated water.

Due to geological changes, a well directly on school grounds is not possible. Our teams have conducted hydrogeological surveys to find the nearest location to the school that will provide water throughout the year. The agreed-upon point, located just 5 minutes walking distance from the school that does not require students to cross any roads, will significantly alleviate the water stress for both the community and the school.

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

New Borehole

This new borehole is an exciting opportunity for this community! We have already worked with community members to determine the best possible site for this well. We talked with the new well site's landowner about the process of construction, and they agreed to the plans and said they are willing to donate their piece of land for the construction of the new water point.

Community members will mobilize the sand and water needed to mix with the cement during construction. The technology prescribed for this site is a borehole well drilled and installed with an India Mark II handpump. Drilling will be able to go deeper than the hand-dug well method, accessing safe, reliable water far below where a hand-dug well could ever reach.

Since we have already conducted hydrogeological surveys to confirm the desired site, 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 before being handed over to the community.


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 is installed at the new 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 we have empowered them with the tools they will need.

Project Updates

April, 2021: Alero B Community project complete!

A clean water well has been drilled in Alero B 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 to improve living standards in Alero B.

"My family is going to start drinking safe water. My hygiene will improve now that I have clean water for washing clothes, plates, and bathing. I will be able to clean my disabled child and his clothes frequently when he defecates on himself, unlike before when water was from a distance from my home," said Margret Nambuya.

"I have plans of building a better house made of clay bricks. I will be able to use the water to make bricks for my new house. I plan to start growing vegetables to improve the nutrition of my family. I will be able to irrigate them using the water from the borehole which is now near my home."

New Borehole

We worked with the community to determine the best possible sites for this well. Some 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.

Two pits were dug next to the drill rig, one for the drill’s water supply and another for what is pulled out of the borehole.

Drilling starts by filling the two pits with water mixed with bentonite. A four-inch carbide-tipped bit is fixed to the five-foot-long drill stem. The mud pump starts to supply water to the drill rig, and the drilling begins. The team takes a material sample after every five-foot length of drill stem is put into the hole. The bags were labeled and reviewed later to determine the aquifer locations.

The team then expands the hole and clears it of mud. The team forcefully pumps clean water into the well to clear out any mud and debris from drilling. After, the screened pipe is protected by adding a filter pack. The team hoists the temporary drilling casing to fortify the pipes with cement.

The well is bailed by hand for three days before conducting a yield test to verify the water quantity.

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

Many people did not attend the dedication ceremony due to COVID 19 pandemic. Notable attendees included the Ogunga Primary school headteacher and deputy headteacher, the Local Council Chair and Vice-Chair, and the water user committee members. The water point was handed over to the school and community. The headteacher and the local council Chair made remarks and were grateful for constructing the water point. The community was advised to keep social distance and wash hands while at the water point.

"I have enough water to bathe and wash my clothes. I am not going to travel a long distance to carry water for home consumption and washing my clothes," said Ester M, a 14-year-old girl.

Well commissioning ceremony.


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 one-day training was scheduled in four major parts: introduction, first saving meeting, first loan meeting, and share. On the day of the training, a public address system mounted on a vehicle played a recorded song about preventing COVID-19 attracted people from the village.

We worked with the community to establish 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 used to pay for any repairs to the well if an issue arises. The group also agreed on a social fund to 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 monitor these facilities’ construction, such as latrines, dishracks, refuse pits, handwashing facilities, and bath shelters.

"I am going to improve my hygiene and smartness. I will be washing my clothes and bathing daily," said Ester.

We have trained local artisans on fabricating and selling 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.

"I have installed a handwashing facility for all the visitors to wash their hands before entering my home," said Margret.

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

February, 2021: Alero B Community project underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Alero B Community drains peoples’ time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

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

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: Growing Crops in the Dry Season!

April, 2022

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Alero B 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!

"I used to move long distances to the open hole to fetch water. It was a tiresome process, as I had to fetch [water] several times [a day]," said 14-year-old Ester N., as she recalled what life was like before a well was installed in her community last year.

She continued, "The water would be colored sometimes. The crowd at the open hole was big, and fetching from the hole was also dangerous."

But now, life for Ester and her fellow community members is different. They can do things they previously found nearly impossible.

"[I am] growing vegetables during the dry season. I have planted matooke (similar to plantains) and vegetables. I use the water from the borehole for irrigation since it's near my home," said Ester.

Who knows what the future could hold for Ester as she matures with ready access to clean, sufficient water.

"I'm able to wash my clothes and keep my personal hygiene since I have plenty of water to bathe. [And] we now have clean water for drinking," Ester concluded.

Community members fetching water from the well.

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 Alero B 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 Alero B 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.


Price Financial Group
Cate Brown Photography
The C family
74 individual donor(s)