Upon completion of the project, our partner in the field reports...
The improved water point secured in Kyabagyeni II village is located in the Rushere Parish, Kenshunga Sub-County, Nyabushozi WASH Program Area in Kiruhura district. When the drill crew arrived in the community to drill a borehole, there was a dire need for safe water as all of the 120 households were depending solely on hand-dug pond. This posed an extreme burden on the women and children who had to walk long distances searching for unsafe water. This unsafe water equally posed health risks to the community and inevitably the prevalence of water-related diseases like dysentery, typhoid, malaria and cholera. Living Water Uganda successfully drilled a deep borehole fitted with an Indian Mark II hand pump reaching approximately 300 beneficiaries with safe drinking water. The well was dedicated and handed over to the community. The Kyabagyeni community water end users are responsible for management and maintenance of this water facility. They are doing this through participation in planning and contribution of an Operation & Maintenance (O&M) fund. The Water User Committee consisting of eight people, including six men and two women that were elected to take care of day-to-day management of O&M, setting tariffs with water users and administration of water point. The WUC will also collect a periodical cash contribution of 500 shillings (1000UGX/$0.4USD) monthly was agreed on with community water end users. Living Water Uganda is providing technical back-up support to the WUC to empower them to manage the water point. Trainings in O&M tariff settings; Nyabushozi Community Engagement Cocoordinator has carried out financial management and community mobilization. Al together, 44 community water end users, including 24 men and 20 women have been trained! Living Water Uganda will continue providing technical back stopping support to community management structures for two years to equip them with necessary skills to adequately manage the O&M, relationships and draws admiration from the water end users to continue contributing O&M funds. Continuous follow-up visits will by conducted by Living Water Uganda's Community Engagement team to institute check and balance and ensures transparency and accountability of O&M funds. Living Water Uganda will work closely with Kiruhura district local government water department to monitor operations of the community water governance structures and conduct periodic water quality analysis to monitor the physical, chemical and bacteriological characteristic of the water sample. This is important because fluctuation in water quality is detrimental to community financing of O&M.
To allow the community to know the full benefits of safe water, a baseline survey feedback meeting was conducted. The meeting as meant to communicate baseline findings, risks and opportunities as well as recommendations for the adoption of positive hygiene behaviors. Kyabagyeni II community members were engaged using an UMOJA approach- hygiene and sanitation promotion strategy that incorporate strengths of Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and Participatory Hygiene Sanitation Transformation (PHAST), and clustering system. These community members were encouraged to take collective actions to eliminate open defecation practices and adopt positive hygiene and sanitation behaviors. Altogether, 56 people (36 men and 20 women) attended and 4 natural leaders emerged from the meeting to spearhead the implementation of community action plans. Joint sanitation verification exercises were conducted in the community to assess the extent of community ascendency along the sanitation ladder. The verification team consisting of local government structures, community health promotion group and Living Water Nyabushozi WPA team observed gradual improvement in hygiene and sanitation.
Community Member Interview
"This is good water. It is clean and safe for human consumption, unlike the open water source that used to be our only option here," shared 37-year-old community member and subsistence farmer, Semujju. "Thank you."