Upon completion of the project, our partner in the field reports...
When the Living Water Uganda team arrived, 400 community residents were dependent on a water catchment system located one kilometer away from the community to meet their water needs. As is common in this area, students and surrounding households share their water source with cattle and other livestock. Because of this, families were suffering from typhoid, malaria, diarrhea and severe dehydration among other preventable water related illnesses. During the team’s stay, community members assembled a water committee consisting of 5 men and 5 women who assisted the team with the water project whenever possible and provided meals for the team. This water committee is also responsible for collecting a well maintenance fee of 100 Ugandan Shillings per jerrican. Most residents farm to earn a living and sell what excess produce they have at nearby markets. Others raise livestock, mostly cattle. There is a primary school located in the community with 243 students; 113 boys and 130 girls, all who now have access to a safe water source. Before leaving the community, the team provided the water committee with a Living Water Uganda contact number in case their well were to fall into disrepair, become subject to vandalism or theft.
During the hygiene education, the Living Water Uganda team addresses: Hand washing, how to properly transport and store water, disease transmission and prevention, how to maintain proper care of the pump, as well as signs and symptoms of dehydration and how to make Oral Rehydration Solution. All of these lessons are taught in a participatory method to help community members discover ways to improve their hygiene and sanitation choices, and implement community driven solutions.
The Living Water Uganda team had an opportunity to meet with forty-two year old community member and head teacher, Nuwagaba Robert, who stated, "Water means life and life is everything but if we want to live a good life, we must take care not to contaminate our bodies. It's the same with water. We must avoid using dirty containers to fetch our new clean water and as a community, keep the area around our well clean."