Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Uganda WaSH Program

Impact: 275 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2023

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/19/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

During the rainy season in Katakungirwa, the community's 275 people collect rainwater or fill up their jerrycans at a dam, which was built to give cattle a bathing spot. But during the dry season, the dam dries up and there is no rain to collect.

So, for the last few dry seasons, the community has pooled their resources to pay for a truck full of water to be delivered to the dam. But each time, the water was gone within two days of the delivery. Katakungirwa's only other water option is a borehole over an hour away.

To avoid the long walk and not waste so much time, people use the water from the dam if they can get it. But the dam is not without issues.

"We don't have a borehole in our area," said 20-year-old cattle farmer Laban Nyankwasi (shown below at the dam). "Therefore, we use the water from the dam. This water is not safe because it is prone to contamination since we share it with animals. When it rains, cow dung is washed away in the dam."

He continued: "From our village to the next village where we can access safe water, it is seven kilometers (4.34 miles), and this makes it hard for someone to go there even when one has transport means, like a motorcycle, because of the high fuel prices currently."

"We always get sick because of using this water from the dam, as it's contaminated. We face challenges of typhoid and end up spending much money on buying medicine for treatment. This affects our planning and economic development because the money that would have been used for other activities is spent on medication."

"This water also affects kids' health as it causes diarrhea among kids. This leads to other sicknesses like malaria, and kids get stunted sometimes because of diarrhea. The absence of a protected water source in our area makes us buy drinking water from shops, hence spending a lot of money."

One person we spoke to had her youngest son, who is only a year old, almost die from typhoid recently. The health clinic workers told her to boil water, but she told our field officers that she can't always manage to do that while caring for her six other children.

Children in sub-Saharan Africa are more than 14 times more likely to die before the age of 5 than children in developed regions. - World Health Organization

Nine-year-old Judith K. (shown below returning home with water) spends hours each day fetching water, leaving her little time for anything else.

"I walk a very long distance of about two kilometers (1.24 miles) to and from the waterpoint," Judith said. "By the time I reach home, I am already tired, and it becomes hard for me to do other activities. At five p.m., when my elder siblings come back from school, we go back to collect water for bathing in the evening, so I rarely get enough time to do my homework or play with friends."

A close, safe water source will free up so much time and money for Katakungirwa's people, allowing them to spend money how they would like instead of just keeping themselves alive day-to-day.

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’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

February, 2023: Katakungirwa Kiroko Community Borehole Well Complete!

A new borehole well drilled in Katakungirwa Kiroko 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.

"Access to safe water will help me improve my hygiene and health," said nine-year-old Judith. "Before this borehole was constructed, we used to get water from the dam, which wasn't clean and safe at all, but now, I am so excited about access to safe water. I will even be able to carry safe drinking water to school. I will be able to wash my uniform every day and also reduce the time I have been spending looking for water."

Judith beside the well.

"I plan to dedicate enough time to my education because the pressure of rushing to come back from school to collect water will be reduced," Judith continued. "I hope that this will help improve my grades. With the availability of this water, we will always be able to get meals on time, and this will improve our health because we have always suffered from hunger due to the delays in preparing food because of the water shortage."

Judith pumps water from the well.

"This water will help us do the domestic work like washing [and] cooking food using [cleaner] water than before when we were using water from the dam," said 78-year-old farmer Paul. "The availability of safe water will reduce the worries I had because of water scarcity. No more diseases will attack us because we now have access to drinking water."

Paul fills his jerrycan.

"I plan to use this water to establish a backyard garden at home because I have water to spray (water) his crops even during the dry season," Paul continued. "I can also sell some of the vegetables like tomatoes, eggplants, etc. This will improve on my savings because the money I have been spending on [the] treatment of waterborne diseases will be saved or used for other domestic activities or garden work."

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.

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.

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, we installed a stainless steel Consallen pump, which is now flowing with clean, safe water!


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.


This project required a substantial collaboration between our staff, our in-country teams, 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 their local field officers to assist them.

Also, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program. We walk with each community, problem-solving together when they face challenges with functionality, seasonality, or water quality. Together, all these components help us strive for 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!

January, 2023: Katakungirwa Kiroko Community Borehole Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Katakungirwa Kiroko 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!

"This waterpoint functions well!"

April, 2024

A year ago, your generous donation helped the Katakungirwa Kiroko Community in Uganda access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Geoffrey. 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 Kiroko Community.

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

Twenty-five-year-old cattleman Geoffrey Kamushana recalled what life was like in the Katakungirwa Kiroko Community before his community's well was installed last year.

"I used to suffer a lot. We were using water from the dams [and] sharing it with animals. In the dry season, these waterpoints would dry, and I would move to the lake to fetch water, and it was very far. I would always buy bottled water for drinking, hence spending a lot of money because I had to buy my drinking water and that of my family members," said Geoffrey.

Collecting water is now much simpler for him and the other community members in Katakungirwa Kiroko.

"My expenses [have] reduced because I no longer buy drinking water because I have this safe drinking water available. This waterpoint functions well. Therefore, I am assured of safe drinking water all the time. I no longer move long distances to the river to collect water because even during the dry season, water is always available, and this has given me enough time to do my other work," said Geoffrey.

Having ready access to water from the well has made a difference, allowing Geoffrey to dream about making improvements in the future that will benefit his family.

"[I'm] planning to expand my garden since I have water available," said Geoffrey.

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 Kiroko 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 Kiroko 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.


1 individual donor(s)