Project Status



Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Uganda WaSH Program

Impact: 550 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 01/10/2024

Project Features


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Community Profile

Katakungirwa village is primarily flat, surrounded by gently sloping hills. There are over 100 households and a population of over 500 people in the community.

The most common livelihood is peasant farming. It is a unique agricultural community because it is the leading grower of maize in Bwijanga county.

When Samuel, a 12-year-old primary school student, was asked how the current water situation affects him personally, he said, "Our village has no water point. In an attempt to access water, we always go to other sources in the neighboring villages, where we encounter a lot of congestion leading to several fights and delays."

He continued: "Before the COVID-19 pandemic that led to the closure of schools, I would be beaten by my teachers for arriving late at school. Due to fear, most times I would miss classes."

Children are missing the opportunity to learn and dream about the future.

The daily schedule of these community members is impacted highly by the fact that they do not have a water point. They must travel more than 2km (over a mile) to access water, and often skip breakfast so they will have time. The water they manage to bring home is often not enough, so they use it sparingly, leading to dehydration and a lack of sanitation and hygiene.

Catherine Atugonzaa, a 24-year-old housewife with four children, shared how the current water situation affects her. "Due to the long-distance, [I] am not able to collect enough water to be used for my daily activities. We waste a lot of time going to collect water alongside concentrating on other domestic activities."

She went on to share the impact within her family: "Our children are starved while at home, and our husbands beat us for delaying at the source, which has lead to several failed marriages in this village. We are really requesting you provide us with a borehole to relieve us from all these challenges."

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

New Borehole

This new borehole is an exciting opportunity for this community! We work with the community to determine the best possible sites for this well.

We conducted a hydrogeological survey and the results indicated the water table is an ideal candidate for a borehole well. Due to a borehole well's unique ability to tap into a safe, year-round water column, it will be poised to serve all of the water needs for this community, even through the dry months.

Community members will help collect the needed construction materials such as sand, rocks, and water for mixing cement. They will also provide housing and meals for the work team, in addition to providing local laborers. We will complement their materials by providing an expert team of artisans and drilling professionals, tools, hardware, and the hand-pump. Once finished, water from the well will then be used by community members for drinking, handwashing, cooking, cleaning, and much more.

Training

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 hand-washing are all possible contaminants of a household water supply. Each participating village must achieve Open Defecation Free status (defined by one latrine per household) prior to the pump installation for this borehole well.

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

Project Updates


June, 2022: Katakungirwa Community Well Complete!

A new borehole well drilled in Katakungirwa Community, Uganda is already providing community members with clean, safe water! Additionally, we hosted a training where community members worked together to make a development action plan for their area. As a result, families are working to build new sanitation and hygiene facilities, tools, and habits that will help improve their living standards and enable a healthier life.

Young and old now have water access.

Ronald Kawe, 31, said, "As a farmer who majors in maize, beans, and ground nuts growing, I expect to have my yields increased. Thus [I will] have enough food for my family and some for selling at Ntooma Market, since we are going to have enough time for monitoring and maintaining the gardens compared to before. A lot of time would be wasted moving to and from the water point while collecting water by most members of my household."

Ronald pumping water.

Now that Ronald has water access, he is dreaming of starting other projects as well.

"I used to rear goats and oxen as one of the economic strategies but because of water I was unable to continue with the project, but now I have access to safe and clean water. I plan to reinstate the project and even have some kitchen gardens for growing vegetables for my household," said Ronald.

New Borehole

We worked with the community to determine the best possible site to drill this new well. We confirmed the site's eligibility by conducting a hydrogeological survey, which proves that the water table belowground is at a sustainable level before drilling begins.

Drilling.

Several households volunteered to host our team of drilling technicians, giving them a place to sleep and food to eat throughout their work. Many community members also came to the work site each day to watch the drilling and see the well come to life.

Community members collect water during the test pumping.

When it came time to build the cement well pad, community members found fine sand and water to mix the cement.

Forming the well pad.

After the cement platform dried, we installed a stainless steel Consallen pump, which is now flowing with clean, safe water!

Installing the pump.

Community leaders helped mobilize the community to witness the official opening of the borehole and the chairperson of the Water User Committee gave a speech on behalf of the community expressing gratitude.

"I'm no longer going to be missing lunch due to water issues as compared to before when my mother would at times fail to prepare food on time due to the long distance and time taken to collect water," said Christine A., age 9.

Christine pumping water.

"I plan to be helping my mother to fetch water since the borehole is near and also support in cleaning the [kitchen] utensils," said Christine.

Christine carrying water home.

Training

The self-help group associated with the project was set up and began training in advance of selecting this project.

The first training session focused on financial planning. We mobilized the community through a series of meetings that sensitized them on the importance and purpose of saving. This included meetings dedicated to creating a community profile, where participants map the physical environment and stakeholders in their own community. We also ran a participatory vulnerability capacity assessment exercise. In this session, community members mapped out their shared risks and opportunities, including the water point breaking down.

Participants learning. This is a representative photo from a similar Self-Help Group training in Uganda.

Next, we scheduled the savings group training date with the community. We planned for a one-day training to form the savings group and discuss the best practices for maintaining and managing it.

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 they will use to pay for any repairs to the well if an issue arises. The group also agreed on a social fund that will provide grants to fellow group members and help them with funeral expenses or catastrophes such as fire damage. Our teams will provide follow-up training to support putting the savings group into practice while also offering continuous coaching in records management.

Participant engagement is key. This is a representative photo from a similar Self-Help Group training in Uganda.

Additional training sessions will happen in the near future focused on hygiene and sanitation at the personal, household, community, and environmental levels. In collaboration with the community facilitator and local leaders, we will train households on critical hygiene and sanitation facilities to build. These include latrines, dish racks, refuse pits, handwashing facilities, and bathing shelters. Our teams monitor these facilities’ construction while helping the community learn how to best use and care for them.

Finally, we will lead an additional training for local artisans to teach them how to fabricate and sell locally used and accepted sanitation products that allow for more hygienic and accessible latrines.

Just as with the financial training, we will continue to support the community in their sanitation and hygiene progress through monitoring visits. In addition, we will offer follow-up assistance and refresher training to ensure community members follow through in building their new facilities and developing new habits.

Conclusion

This project required a substantial collaboration between our staff, our partners, and the community members themselves. When an issue arises concerning the well, the group members are equipped with the necessary skills to rectify the problem and ensure the water point works appropriately. However, if the issue is beyond their capabilities, they can contact our field officers to assist them.

Also, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program. We have an ongoing commitment to walk with each community, cooperatively problem-solving when they face water challenges of any kind: with functionality, seasonality, or water quality. With all these components together, we strive to ensure enduring access to reliable, clean, and safe water for this community.

With your contribution, one more piece has been added to a large puzzle of water projects. In our target areas, we’re working toward complete coverage of reliable, maintained water sources within a 30-minute round trip for each community, household, school, and health center. With this in mind, search through our upcoming projects to see which community you can help next!

Thank you for making all of this possible!




May, 2022: Katakungirwa Community Well Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Katakungirwa Community drains people’s 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: Reduced Burden, Increased Health!

October, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Katakungirwa Kasahe 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!

Racheal K, 12, recalled what life was like in Katakungirwa Kasahe Community before her well was installed last year.

Racheal said, "[We] used to fetch water from the dam, but it was very far. [My] parents would not send me to the waterpoint alone because it was very scary as I would go through sugar cane plantations; therefore, my mother would always escort us to the dam, hence spending time because instead of mother doing other domestic activities on time like cooking, she had to escort us to collect water. Whenever we would go there in the evening, we would come back from the water point at night, hence not getting enough time to concentrate on other domestic activities like washing dishes, washing uniforms, etc. [I] would always fail to get time to do homework, and going back to school the next day with undone work would lead to being punished by the teacher."

But life is much safer and less burdensome for Racheal and the other community members in Katakungirwa Kasahe Community now.

"The waterpoint being near helps to access water easily and have access to clean water; the availability of this waterpoint has helped to improve [my] personal hygiene because [I'm] able to wash uniforms and also bathe every day. When [we] come back from school in the evening, always find food at home and are no longer worried about fetching water from a long distance; the pressure of looking for water is reduced. [We] no longer fall sick as it used to be when fetching water from dams," she continued.

Having ready access to water from the well has made a difference for Racheal, allowing her to no longer worry about making long, unsafe treks to a questionable water source. She can focus on school without worrying about missing meals or baths.

Right now, there are others in neighboring communities that desperately need safe water access. Your support will immediately go to work to provide a clean water project - and we can't wait to introduce you to the next person you'll help.

 


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 Katakungirwa Kasahe 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 Katakungirwa Kasahe 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.


Contributors

In Remembrance of Ezekiel Noah
1 individual donor(s)