Project Status



Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Uganda WaSH Program

Impact: 450 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2023

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/20/2024

Project Features


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Community Profile

The 450 people who live in Miramura are in need of a source of sufficient, clean water. Currently, they rely on what they can collect from a small local swamp—when it's not dry.

Alternative water sources are very far away, so people must use bicycles or motorcycles if they are fortunate enough to own them. Yet community members must travel a busy road to get there, the waterpoints are always overcrowded, and they must buy the water with money they cannot afford to lose.

The long trek to the swamp is tiring enough, but collecting water is a labor-intensive process that includes stepping through mud into the water and scooping it into their containers.

Sadly, this same water is where children sometimes defecate, and other environmental contaminants breed. Drinking contaminated water puts everyone at risk of serious health consequences.

"Our primary water source is contaminated. [The] water is colored and with a bad smell," said Evas Katusabe, a mother of six children shown carrying water below.

"I use this water for cooking because we have no alternative. When we use it for bathing, it causes itching on the skin. My children always suffer from water-related diseases like typhoid and skin rashes."

Evas' eleven-year-old son suffered from typhoid, and her three-year-old daughter has skin rashes, causing them to spend a lot of time at the far-away health center in Bwijanga.

"I once fell sick because of using this water," said Hakim, a young boy from the community (shown above fetching water). "I got stomach upsets that led to diarrhea. My parents spent a lot of money on treating me, yet this money was supposed to cater for my school fees."

Like Evas' children, he has also suffered from a rash that he can't stop itching. Inevitably, the rash evolves into sores that, along with the incessant itching, prevent him from attending school.

The people in this community need their own reliable, safe water source that will allow them to maintain their incomes and health so there can hopefully be brighter days ahead.

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


March, 2023: Miramura Community New Well Complete!

A new borehole well drilled in Miramura 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.

Jacent by the water point.

"This water point will save me from conflicts with my mother as a result of over-delaying at the water point," said 13-year-old Jacent. "Now that this water point is complete, I plan to concentrate on my studies. Next year I will be a candidate [for secondary school] and ensure I pass [with high marks]. I also plan to improve my personal hygiene by washing my clothes."

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, proving that the below-ground water table is sustainable 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.

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!

Caroline pumping water.

"Before this borehole was constructed, we used to walk very long distances to access water and this would at times force me to buy water at a cost of five hundred shillings per jerrycan. [I] am happy that now this water point will improve our family savings, reduce domestic violence in our homes, and above all improve the sanitation and hygiene situation in my home," said 35-year-old farmer and housewife Caroline Kiiza.

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 their community's physical environment and stakeholders. 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 offering continuous records management coaching.

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 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.

As with the financial training, we will continue supporting 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 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 facing functionality, seasonality, or water quality challenges. 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!




December, 2022: Miramura Community Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Miramura 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!


Water is Near for Saidi!

May, 2024

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Miramura 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!

Last year, your gift unlocked the potential for a brighter future for Saidi. Since then, he and the Miramura community of 450 residents have had clean, reliable water. Your contribution has made a significant impact. Thank you for making a difference!

Forty-six-year-old farmer Saidi Asiimwe, chairperson of the water user committee, recalled what life was like in the Miramura Community before his community's well was implemented last year.

"I used to fetch water from Kinenabuhere, but the distance was far, about 1 km. This would make me spend a lot of time and affect my other daily activities. [The number of] people would always be many because this waterpoint was used by more than one village. The waterpoint would frequently break down because of being over-stressed, and this would make me go without water for some days," said Saidi.

Saidi taking clean water home.

Collecting water is now simpler and faster for Saidi and the other community members in Miramura.

"The waterpoint is near. I no longer have to move a very long distance to look for water. My work became easy as I can access water very easily. My wife also no longer suffers. She does her domestic work very fast, and the hygiene at my home [has] improved," continued Saidi.

Having ready access to water from the well has made a difference for Saidi, allowing him to improve his family's livelihood.

When we asked Saidi what the water point has helped him achieve, he said it has allowed him to expand his brick-making business.

Saidi's new brick-making business.


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 Miramura 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 Miramura 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

Project Sponsor - The Mann Family
1 individual donor(s)