Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Uganda WaSH Program

Impact: 300 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/16/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Most families in this part of Katugo Village collect water from an unprotected and contaminated spring. The water is an open source shared by the community and used as a drinking source for cattle. Community members report frequent cases of diarrhea as a result of drinking the contaminated water.

"We have been moving a long distance and struggling in long lines to access clean water, we grateful that we going to have access to clean water nearby," a community member said.

That is why we are going to construct a new well and support the community to ensure that it has the proper structures in place to manage it in the future.

The sanitation situation is only slightly better. Barely more than half of households have a latrine. Most are constructed of local materials, including mud. However, open defecation is still an issue here.

The main activity in this area is agriculture. Most families grow maize to both sell in the market to make money and to eat at home. The men often work in the nearby trading centers - taking on day-labor jobs or whatever is available for small businesses. The women like most other communities remain engaged in household chores and farming.

The community is dominated by Alur people and these have considerably large families and woman is mainly in charge of taking care of family mostly in terms of food and clothing. Fetching water is a task that often falls on the women.

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


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 a shallow hand-dug 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, hand-washing facility, a separate structure for animals, rubbish pit and 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 the latrines and demand that other households do the same.

New Hand-Dug Well

With the guidance of our artisans and mechanics, the excavated well will be cased, sealed with a well pad, and then finished with a new AfriDev pump. The community will participate in excavating and constructing the water source.

Excavation takes a month or more on average, depending on the nature of the rock beneath. Construction of the well lining and installation of the pump takes on average 12 days.

This well will be located in Katugo Community and will bring clean water closer to families having to walk long distances for their water.

We are also constructing one more hand-dug well and rehabilitating a borehole for the community to ensure everyone has access to safe water! Learn more here and here.

Note: We do not have the precise GPS coordinates for this project at this time, but will update as soon as possible.

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, 2019: Katugo Community Project Complete

Water is now flowing from a new hand-dug well in Katugo, Uganda. People are thrilled about this development that has further unified the community. People also attended hygiene and sanitation planning sessions and financial training, and have learned a lot that will enable them to live healthier lives.

Hand-Dug Well

Construction of this new well was a big success!

Bigirwenkya Victor testing the pump for the first time

Bigirwenkya Victor is a 10-year-old boy in grade two of primary school. He lives in Katugo Village. Victor was the first to test pump the new water point. He was excited and this was what he has to say:

I used to go to school without bathing because there was no nearby water source. We had to go to an open well nearby the swamp about 1 kilometer away. In school, I received punishments for not bathing. With this water source provided just near our home, I not be punished at school again for not bathing because of lack of water. I thank you, The Water Project team, for providing us with this new water point. God bless you.

We have updated the GPS coordinates of this project to show the well’s location.

It took about a month of work to finish this well. There were no major issues and construction proceeded smoothly. The most important part of this process was our collaboration with the community, who helped our technicians immensely in excavating the well itself.

Once the team reached sufficient depth, the technicians lined the well with bricks and mortar. This was reinforced and finished off with a well pad at ground level to protect the quality of water inside the well.

The water committee met the pump mechanics to oversee the installation of a new stainless steel Consallen pump. They were given contact information for all of our trained hand-pump mechanics in the area. They look forward to receiving technical assistance whenever they need it!


All community members in the village were mobilized through the local leaders, who informed them of our training plans. The meeting was held at the usual community meeting venue which is under the big tree in the village center. The aim of the meeting was helping members to clearly understand the problems affecting their area.

Around 50 community members were able to attend the meetings and actively participated in identifying problems and coming up with solutions. The participants actively participated and effectively contributed to the success of the training.

Most participants came late on the first day of training because it’s a planting and weeding season. The majority of the participants arrived at noon even though the planned start time was at 10am. The lost time was recovered by ending the training two hours later than planned.

On the second day, rain disrupted the training as it was conducted under the tree outside. At the start of the rain, the participants took refuge in the surrounding huts. After 20 minutes, the rain stopped and the participants re-started the training till it was successfully completed.

Community members not only mapped hazards in their area, but came up with an action plan to prevent further issues. This encouraged household leaders to build new facilities at home, such as latrines and handwashing stations. Discussions helped these household representatives work out how to best prevent diseases by building new sanitation facilities, treating their water, and adopting other hygienic daily habits.

Some training participants pose for a group picture

People were most shocked to learn how easily germs spread around the community. That even if they fetch water from a clean water well, they need to be careful to handle and store that water properly. It is so easy for water to get contaminated!

Another day of training was dedicated to a Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA). The money saved will be used for the community’s overall development and wellbeing, with money first and foremost set aside to care for the community’s new clean water source. Participants voted on a committee that will oversee the savings program and their new clean water point.

"We are privileged to benefit from the VSLA training. It’s the first of its kind in my village which we commit to using the knowledge and skills gained to escape poverty and maintain our water source. To self-help group members: it's time to work hand in hand with the Water and Sanitation Committee to maintain our water point that gives us clean water," Jawia said, who happily learned that this savings group can provide an opportunity to save and secure financial assistance for business.

Ochaki Issa

Ochaki Issa is 48 years old, married, and has four children. He benefited from the VSLA training and invested in producing sliced dry cassava for the local market. He has this story to share:

"I am grateful to my Self-Help Group because they allowed me to borrow 120,000 Uganda shillings ($34) for my business. So far, I normally make 20,000 Uganda Shillings ($6) per week translating to 80,000 Uganda shilling ($23) per month. I am now relieved because I was able to complete payment of the loan to the group. My business is progressing, the future plan now is to rent farmland, scale up acreage of cassava plantation, production of sliced dry cassava to allow for more returns and buy my own land for farming and settlement."

Ochaki has attributes for a good business person. He is a very eloquent, social, and a respected member of the community.

In fact, he is a natural leader. This VSLA training and the reliable, clean water nearby will unlock even more potential for Ochaki and many others.

December, 2018: Katugo Community Project Underway

Dirty water from an open water source is making people in Katugo Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point nearby and much more.

Get to know this community through the narrative 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

Hand-dug wells have been an important source of water throughout human history! Now, we have so many different types of water sources, but hand-dug wells still have their place. Hand dug wells are not as deep as borehole wells, and work best in areas where there is a ready supply of water just under the surface of the ground, such as next to a mature sand dam. Our artisans dig down through the layers of the ground and then line the hole with bricks, stone, or concrete, which prevent contamination and collapse. Then, back up at surface level, we install a well platform and a hand pump so people can draw up the water easily.