Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Uganda WaSH Program

Impact: 150 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Oct 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 07/10/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Aidha Wembabazi is married with three children (13, 10 and 7 years old) who attend classes at a local government school. She and her husband have been peasant farmers in Rubana Village for the past 16 years.

The majority of families here grow food crops such as maize, cassava, sweet potatoes, groundnuts, and beans, and will grow sugarcane for commercial purposes. Food surpluses and sugarcane are normally sold at local markets or to vendors. Some households raise livestock such as chicken, goats, and pigs that are also sold in local markets.

Each day, Mrs. Wembabazi and other women from the 30 households in this community travel more than 2 miles to get water. There is an open water source located a mile away that is used for household needs, but the two nearest wells that are acceptable for drinking are more than one and two miles away respectively.

"The water problem here is a common challenge," said Mrs. Wembabazi.

"I do travel long distance for clean and safe water. When I leave home for water a 6 pm, I return home at around 9 pm."

When asked why not sending the kids this far distance for water, she responded, "I can’t send the children and get them knocked by speeding cars and trucks on the road and more so, my children are young to travel that long distance for water. I rather do it myself."

The negative consequences of the water problem here include loss of productive time due to the hours spent collecting water. Diseases such as acute watery diarrhea and worm infestations are caused by dirty water. Furthermore, households are impacted by the money spent treating illnesses and lose time traveling to the hospitals which do not always carry the medicines needed for treatment.

"It’s me who ensures there is adequate, safe, and clean drinking water available at all times," said Christine Kaija.

"The household need for clean drinking water amounts to two 20-liter jerrycans. As a result of time spent fetching water, I lose cooking time for my family. That, at times, creates a misunderstanding with my spouse."

Village Chairperson Isaac Kasaija Wambabia echoed the very same problem. He reported a case where a husband accused his wife of having an affair because she was gone for long stretches fetching water. The problem was not an affair, it was the fact that the sources are so far away that it takes hours for each trip. The lack of access to water in this community places a lot of stress on women here, he said.

We also observed that the village has very basic sanitation and hygiene facilities, and rather low coverage. The village has no dedicated handwashing facilities and there is a lack of garbage pits. In fact, many households wait until it is dark for bathing since they do not have dedicated shelters to do so during the day, said Vincent Kyaliogonza.

"Hygiene and sanitation conditions in my village are not good," he told us. "I can say, only one to three of the [30] households have basic hygiene and sanitation facilities."

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


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.

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

October, 2019: Rubana Yagilewo Community Project Complete!

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

Hand-Dug Well

Construction of this new well was a big success!

Kyaligonza Vincent pumps the well as children drink from it

“This community has been drawing water [from] open water sources and moving long distances for safe water,” said Pastor Kyaligonza Vincent.

“This newly constructed water point is a redemption since it guarantees the safety [of] our children and women who shall no longer walk a long distance in search of safe water."

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

Kunihira Roselyne fills a container with water


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 then scheduled with the community.

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

The training date was sunny and the weather enabled the community to move from their homes to the training venue which was under a big mango tree at Pastor Kyaligonza Vincent’s home. It also happens to be just 200 meters from the well.

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.

“I rated this training 10/10 because sanitation and water are the priorities for this community," said Kunihira Roselyn, a primary school teacher.

"The savings meetings provide a perfect opportunity to share information on hygiene and sanitation and home improvements. I am certain that these participants shall be role models to the entire community.”

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

August, 2019: Rubana Yagilewo Community Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Rubana Yagilewo Community 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 the 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

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.

Giving Update: Rubona Yagilewo Community

February, 2021

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Rubana Yagilewo Community maintain access to safe, reliable water. Together, they keep The Water Promise.

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Patrick, a primary five pupil at Bulima primary school, was asked how it was like before it was completed. He said," I would collect water only during weekends because I needed to go to the source during the day. one time, the kidnappers chased me, and I left the fetching containers at the source and ran back home."

"I could not go to the source alone. We needed to be in a group with a few older people for our safety. During those times, I was not only scared of the kidnappers but the high speeding heavily loaded sugar cane ferrying trucks which most times lost control and made accidents while others moved while pouring some of the canes on the way," he said.

"Collecting water during those times meant panic and fear the moment I grabbed a jerrycan to begin my journey to the source until I returned home because I looked at everyone I did not know as a kidnapper, and the only thought I had at that time was to run away. Some times I ran away from even harmless people," Patrick concluded.

Patrick B

With a smiling face, Patrick told our interviewer, "I am no longer scared and worrying. I collect water any time at the source alone without fear since the source is accessible and next to homes."

"In this COVID-19 season when I no longer go to school, I help my mother to collect the water, and she does not have to collect water. I also prepare supper at home every Wednesday and Sunday. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, I would remain at school for games from 4:00 pm-5:30 PM because I could still get back home and collect the water," he said.

"I have time to revise my notes at home from 7:30 pm-9:30 pm when I have my supper and retire to bed. I always go to school early since I do not collect water in the morning, and I concentrate in class because I don't worry about fetching water at home as my major household role."

Patrick and other children at the well.

He continued saying that," I can wash my uniform after every two days and shower every morning before school. I report to school when I am clean and also pack water in my bottle for drinking and washing my hands during break times, and wash my legs/feet after lunch before I go back to class for afternoon lessons."

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 Rubana Yagilewo 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 Rubana Yagilewo 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.