Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Uganda WaSH Program

Impact: 250 Served

Project Phase:  Decommissioned

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 a total population of about 1,500 using only two functional shallow wells. This has caused a lot conflict at the water source due to too many people forcing other people to start using the open water source resulting into the spread of diseases," a community member said.

That is why we are going to rehabilitate a well and support the community to ensure that it has the proper structures in place to manage it into 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

March, 2024: A Project Change in Katugo-Bonde Community!

Projects, like water itself, are fluid.

Sometimes, there are unique circumstances that can neither be resolved nor reversed that turn a well-loved water point into one that has failed to meet the expectations of both the community it serves and our own commitment to help provide access to safe and reliable water.

Unfortunately, this hand-dug well is no longer meeting the water needs of the Katugo-Bonde Community, despite repeated efforts, spent resources, and a lot of patience from the community and our team.

The Water Project, the community members, and local leaders have decided together that decommissioning the hand-dug well was the best course of action. As a result, we will no longer make monitoring visits here.

February, 2019: Katugo Bonde Community Project Complete

Water is now flowing from a new hand-dug well in Katugo Bonde, 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!

Byaruhange Justine is 12 years old and is the son of the well caretaker. He is a beneficiary of the newly installed pump and here is how the water point is changing his life:

For long my mother has been sending me and my siblings down to the swamp for water. The roundtrip walking distance of more than 30 minutes to collect water for the family. At times, my sibling and I go to bed without bathing because we fear going to the swamp late in the evening because the swamp is a habitat for snakes. I thank The Water Project for our new water point because it’s easy to get water since it is near home. My siblings and I can now get water at any time of the day, and we no longer go to bed without bathing.

Byaruhange Justine

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

It took about two months 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.

A good lunch break made for a successful training, too!

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.

The participants were particularly interested in learning how diseases spread. Community members highlighted common practices like use of cassava tubers and leaves to stabilize the water and keep it from splashing out of a bucket. They now realize that this caused contamination of their drinking water during transportation. The participants agreed that each caretaker will be performing an inspection patrol for water collection vessels twice a week.

Another day of training was dedicated to a Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA). The money saved will be used for to the community’s overall development and well-being, 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.

Using leaves as cash

Mr. Kamese Joseph, the local council chairman said, "This VSLA training has opened our eyes. Now we can maintain our water points and have water in our village at all times. I thank The Water Project and pledge support to the work they do in my community."

Kamese further acknowledged that most water points break down in the neighboring villages because they do not save money for their water point repair. Once they break down, they end up using contaminated water from open sources.

That won't happen with the VSLA group saving money!

Isaac Odieng is looking forward to growing his petrol business.

Isaac Odieng is 27 years old, married with one child. He received a loan worth 190,000 Uganda shillings from his savings group. He says:

I invested the money I got into selling petroleum to local automobile owners. I bought two 20-liter jerrycans of petrol and sold them within one week. Each 20-liter jerrycan yields a profit of 15,000 shillings ($5). Each month I collected a profit of 120,000 Uganda shillings ($34). Isaac intends to build an iron-roofed house, pay fees for his child and dependents, and scale up his fuel business and diversify the business to include food stuff and general merchandise.

And with reliable clean water nearby, people like Mr. Odieng will be able to stay healthy and focus on making an income and improving living standards for their families!

January, 2019: Katugo Community Project Underway

Dirty water is making people in Katugo Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to build a clean water point 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.


In honor of Haji Maideen Descendants
The Blake Belknap Family
The Ballard Fundraising Page
2 individual donor(s)