Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Uganda WaSH Program

Impact: 200 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2019

Functionality Status:  Water Flowing - Needs Attention

Last Checkup: 08/21/2023

Project Features

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Community Profile

Nyakasenyi Byebega is a rural community of 200 people with a landscape that gently slopes into a valley with expansive sugarcane crops growing. The houses are scattered in a settlement pattern around sugarcane plantations. Most are made of brick walls and iron sheet roofs.

The majority of the families in the area grow and sell sugarcane to the local Kinyara Sugar Corporation processing plant or work directly for the factory. People also grow food crops including cassava, maize, sweet potatoes, beans, groundnuts, cowpeas, and millet for consumption. Any surplus food is sold in the local markets.

This community is unique because there are casual labor migrants mainly from the West Nile Region and Luo Sub-region in the north that work as sugarcane cutters.

Typical households wake up at 6am. The men go with some children to the garden with the livestock while women remain at home to prepare food. On school days, the children spend their morning getting ready to go to school. After kids are off, the women join their spouses on the farms. In the dry season, they farm until noon. In the wet season they will stay as late as 2pm. Upon returning home, the women commence chores such as fetching water, cooking, and cleaning, while the husbands rests.

Around 2pm, the family members converge for lunch. The children go back to school after eating and the women often return to the farm. The women return home at 5pm to prepare dinner for the family. Typically, everyone is in bed before 10pm.

The nearest water point for people here is an open source. The water gets turbid during the rainy season, and the source is shifted upstream during the wet season. There is a shallow hand-dug well that's sometimes used, but that takes 2 hours round trip to visit. There is a borehole even further away.

In the shallow well, the water is clear with no smell and with enough water for the community at all seasons. In the deep borehole well, the water is clear with no smell and with enough water, though subjected to overburden due to the many households that use it.

Mary Nyanguma is a 23-year-old woman who lives with her husband, mother-in-law, and two children at the mother-in-law’s home. They mainly grow maize, cassava, beans, and sugarcane for sale and eating at home.

Mary often makes the 2-hour round trip to get water from the hand-dug well. She is the only person in her home who has time to collect water for the family. At times, she uses her husband’s bicycle to collect enough water to meet her family’s clean water need.

"On daily basis, I collect three to four 20-liter jerrycans of water for my family," said Mary. "When I used my husband’s bicycle, it gets punctured due to poor road conditions so I end up carrying the water on my head."

She estimates spending an average of 6000 - 10000 Uganda shillings ($1.6 to $2.7) per month on bicycle repairs. That adds a financial burden on her family.

The open source is unsafe, but since it takes only 20 minutes to fetch water from the point many community members opt to use it. Doing so saves time, but exposes family members to waterborne diseases.

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

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 Consallen 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 Nyakasenyi Byebega Community and will bring clean water closer to families having to walk long distances for their water.

Improved Sanitation

The aim is that all households own an improved latrine. While most households have some form of latrine, they often do not have a protective superstructure to provide privacy and protection from the elements. Almost none have a handwashing facility or water nearby.

Some 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.

"The sanitation situation in my village needs improvement. Few of us have latrines and I accept to be involved to help others have sanitation facilities as well," said Sarah Nyanjura.

"It's meaningless if few have latrines and majority do not have because they eventually become source of contamination for all."

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.


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 handwashing 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, handwashing 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.

Project Updates

December, 2019: Nyakasenyi Byebega Project Complete!

Water is now flowing from a new hand-dug well in Nyakasenyi Byebega, Uganda.

People are thrilled about this development that has further unified their community. Community members also attended hygiene and sanitation planning sessions and financial training, and have learned a lot that will enable them to live healthier lives.

"This community is very pleased with this water point because previously, we have been collecting water from open water sources within the swamps and moving very long distances to collect drinking water," said Jimmy Busiinge.

"However, the situation has changed since we have an accessible water point within our reach."

Hand-Dug Well

Construction of this new well was a big success!

There were no major delays during the construction process. The construction was done during the dry season when most of the community members were available since they were waiting for the rains to arrive before beginning the next planting season on their farms.

The process involved:
1) Community mobilization
2) Identification of the site
3) Hiring the contractor and technicians
4) Excavating until a viable water column was achieved
5) Lining the well with concrete liners and clay burnt bricks
6) Conducting recharge analysis to estimate the yield in liters per minute
7) The casting of the apron and drainage channel
8) Construction of the plaque stand
9) Installation of the Consallen hand pump
10) Water quality analysis and commissioning

The team found a static water level at 6.3 meters and continued down to 10 meters for the final depth of the well.


The community was mobilized through a series of meetings that sensitized them on the importance and purpose of financial saving. This included meetings to create a community profile (mapping physical environment and stakeholders in the community) and a participatory vulnerability capacity assessment exercise. In this exercise, community members mapped out their shared risks and opportunities, including the water point breaking down. The savings group training date was scheduled with the community.

The community's natural leader, Jimmy Businge, had collected a list of all of the names of the training participants before the day of training due to recruitment during earlier village meetings so they were well prepared. The day's weather was sunny but favorable for learning because it did not interrupt the training. It was conducted under a tree at the home of one of the elders in the village and a member of the Water and Sanitation Committee by the name of Muzeei Balamu Byarugaba.

A 1-day training was scheduled in 4 major parts: introduction, first saving meeting, first loan meeting, and share.

We worked with the community to establish both 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 that is used to pay for any repairs to the well if an issue arises. The group also agreed on a social fund that they contribute to each meeting to provide grants to fellow group members to help them with funeral expenses or catastrophes such as fire damage.

In collaboration with the community facilitator and natural leaders, we trained households on critical hygiene and sanitation facilities to build. Our teams are monitoring the construction of these facilities, such as latrines, dishracks, refuse pits, handwashing facilities, and bath shelters.

We have also trained local artisans on how to fabricate and sell sanitation products that allow for more hygienic and accessible latrines.

Our teams will provide follow-up training to support putting the savings group into practice. Saving procedures and loans were understood and good skills and knowledge were gained from the sessions. However, continuous coaching will be required in records management.

In other training, the community conceptually understood the sanitation and hygiene parts but will need support and monitoring to ensure follow-through in building new facilities and developing new habits.

Community participation was good throughout the training. Most interesting was the spirited female participants who strongly advocated for women’s leadership of the Self-Help Group. It created heated arguments from the male counterparts and finally, a female was selected in the position of secretary of the group.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

November, 2019: Nyakasenyi Byebega Community project underway!

Dirty water is making people in Nyakasenyi Byebega Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install 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 news of success!

Project Photos

Project Type

Dug Well and Hand Pump

Hand-dug wells are best suited for clay, sand, gravel and mixed soil ground formations. A large diameter well is dug by hand, and then lined with either bricks or concrete to prevent contamination and collapse of the well. Once a water table is hit, the well is capped and a hand-pump is installed – creating a complete and enclosed water system.

Giving Update: Nyakasenyi Byebega Community

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Nyakasenyi Byebega 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!

When Raymond was asked what the situation was like before this project was completed, he replied saying, "Before this water project was completed, I would spend most of my time at school since it's far about 2.5 km away from home and never had time to go the water source. I would only go to collect water during weekends but was always very scared of thieves and kidnappers who were common in my village at that time," he continued saying."

"By then, I was just learning to ride a bicycle, and my parents never trusted me with their bicycle to use for collecting water. I would only collect a 10-liter jerrycan for bathing but mostly relied on the water my elder siblings would collect at home for use," he said

When Raymond was interviewed on how this water point has impacted his life, he smiled and said, "I now have enough time to play. Before the Covid-19 outbreak, I would return home at 6:00 pm, rest, and then head to the water point. Most times, I use a bicycle since my parents now feel it's safer for me as compared to before."


"I can now collect more than two trips in a day as compared to before when I would only go one trip," he concluded.

"Due to the Covid-19 outbreak which led to the closure of all schools, I currently have enough time to play and collect water, which has helped me improve on my personal hygiene since I can now bath at any time since the water point is now easily accessible," he said.

He further hinted on his plans that "even when schools resume, I plan to engage my self in extra-curriculum activities at school before getting back home in the evening since I am sure the well is now closer to home, and I can now collect water at any time as compared to before" he concluded."

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 Nyakasenyi Byebega 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 Nyakasenyi Byebega 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.


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