Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Uganda WaSH Program

Impact: 250 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2023

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/12/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

The 250 community members living in Kihara rely on shallow-dug wells in surrounding communities to meet their daily water needs, but they are all far away.

The nearest water source is over a mile away and only offers contaminated water, leaving people with frequent stomach upsets and episodes of diarrhea and typhoid. But without other viable options, people have no choice but to consume it, knowing it may make them ill.

“Water scarcity limits access to safe water for drinking and for practicing basic hygiene at home, in schools, and in health-care facilities.” - UNICEF

Eight-year-old Isaiah (seen below at the faraway well) faces water scarcity every day since he lives with his grandparents and is responsible to collect water for everyone. It is a significant burden for a young boy.

"The waterpoint is very far, and I always find many people [there], hence [the] delay at the waterpoint. I am unable to fetch enough water for the entire household," said Isaiah.

When he is unable to collect sufficient water, he cannot bathe or wash his school uniforms, so he can't go to school because the teachers would send him home for being dirty. Sadly, Isaiah misses school often due to the water scarcity, and even at his young age, this is already affecting his grades.

58-year-old housewife Magyara Evas, shown below carrying water, shared that, like Isaiah, her children also fetch water in the evening when they come home from school.

"The children pass on a very busy road where big sugarcane vehicles pass and their drivers overspeed. This puts them at risk of accidents," said Magyara.

Magyara's children also have to wait in long lines, and by the time they return home, they are so tired, they just bathe and go to sleep. Their homework is neglected, and their school performances suffer.

When the children are unable to make it home in time to collect water, some families buy water from vendors, but this is an expense most cannot afford.

"We are in a dire need of a deep borehole located in a central place where all people can access it so that we can secure safe drinking water," concluded Magyara.

With a well of their own, the people living in Kihara should regain their valuable time, especially the children.

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

March, 2023: Kihara Community Well Complete!

A new borehole well drilled in Kihara 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.

Community members are celebrating the new well.

Content Warning: The paragraph below might be upsetting for readers. There are references to domestic violence.

"I am very happy that the distance to the water point has been reduced and I will no longer be beaten by my parents for delaying at the water point any time," said 12-year-old Isingoma S.

"I plan to support my father to spray the gardens since we now have enough water at home. [I] also plan to improve my academics since I will no longer have to waste a lot of time moving around looking for water compared to before," said Isingoma.

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.

Building the cement pad.

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!

Content Warning: The paragraphs below might be upsetting for readers. There are references to domestic and sexual violence.

"We used to spend a lot of money buying water, but now I will have enough money to save for myself and also towards the maintenance of the water point," said 56-year-old farmer Kagenyi Robinah.

Kagenyi by the new well.

She continued: "I am very grateful to you for giving us a new water point which is even nearer to my home. This water point will help reduce on the rampant cases of rape among the young girls as they go to collect water. My grandchildren are now safe."

Kagenyi also noted that she hopes the water point will unify the community and help reduce domestic violence cases of men beating women for delaying at the water point since water collection will be faster.


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: Kihara Community New Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Kihara 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!

Shadia No Longer Fears Collecting Water!

May, 2024

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kihara 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!

Your gift last year unlocked Shadia's potential for a brighter future. Since then, she and the 250-resident Kihara Community have had clean, reliable water. Your contribution has made a significant impact. Thank you for making a difference!

Before the Well Installation
Twelve-year-old Shadia recalled life in the Kihara Community before her community's well was installed last year.

"I used to move a very long distance to look for water. I would spend a lot of time carrying water on the head for a long distance would cause me [a] headache," shared Shadia.

"I would always rush to come back from school so that I [could] fetch water early because I always feared moving from the waterpoint in the dark," continued Shadia.

Since the Well Installation
Collecting water is now less time-consuming and not as scary for Shadia and the other community members in Kihara.

"I no longer move a very long distance to look for water. I always take my time at school because I am sure any time I come back, I can get water because the water point is near my home," said Shadia.

Having ready access to water from the well has made a difference for Shadia. It allows her to collect plenty of water to meet her and her family's daily needs without missing out on the opportunity to stay in school.

"I always ensure [I] leave water for my parents collected in the jerrycans. My hygiene has also improved because I wash my uniforms and clothes every day," she continued.

Reliable and clean water lays the groundwork for improved health, education, and economic possibilities, allowing people like Shadia to thrive. We frequently hear from those we interview that "water is life!"

The Future is Looking Bright!
You made a difference for Shadia and the rest of her community a year ago. This is just the first chapter of their story, as access to clean water continues to improve their lives!

At The Water Project, we value sustainability and want to ensure that people continue to thrive. We commit to monitoring this well to ensure the water is always flowing and safe to consume. We inspect the system hardware, track water availability, conduct sanitary inspections, and collect water quality samples to identify risks. We work with our team on the ground to resolve them.

You gave Shadia a crucial tool for achieving her dreams: access to clean water. Together, we can excitedly expect that with this precious resource, her enthusiasm and courage will help her fulfill her dreams.

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 Kihara 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 Kihara 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.


58 individual donor(s)