Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Uganda WaSH Program

Impact: 390 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/11/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Kinuma Kyarugude is a small community that has grown in recent years to more than 390 residents. The village is mostly marshland with an active stream that feeds into a larger swamp. Despite being surrounded by surface water, there are no safe and reliable sources of water for the people living here.

This community has a shallow well that does not work. The site of the well - a geographically low point in the community - did not take into account that rainwater and contaminants collect at that point in the village. Over time, water has built up in the area of the well and eventually submerged the platform - rendering the well inoperative and unsafe for collecting drinking water. The pump is currently abandoned by the community as they opt for water from either the nearby open swamp or a borehole well found more than 1 mile away in the neighboring community.

People must now choose between walking 30 minutes each way to wait in line and collect water or go to the closeby yet unsafe swamp. Both options create hardship for households here. Flavia, a young girl we met while visiting the community, told us that she feels unsafe traveling to get water. And the open-source is not reliable, added Robina Katwesige, a farmer.

"We experience a seasonal drop in the yield of the water. We are forced to walk a long distance in pursuit of clean water," Robina explained.

People here make a living by rearing goats and farming. The most common crops farmed include maize, beans, groundnuts, and cassava. Most of those are saved for eating at home, but excess crops are sold in local markets. Families will also grow sugarcane as a cash crop. It takes from 18 months to 2 years for sugarcane to reach maturity before it is cut and sold to sugar factories.

Our teams observed that the majority of households here had empty and broken handwashing facilities. The local leader claimed that latrines are present in roughly two-thirds of the homes in the village. However, homes with tenants share latrine facilities - meaning that access may be strained in some households.

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

New Borehole

This new borehole is an exciting opportunity for this community! We have already worked with community members to determine the best possible site for this well. The location had to be central and easily accessible to a majority of village members, and unlike the previous well, not at a low point. Once the best spot was found, we talked with the new well site's landowner about the process of construction. They agreed to the plans and said they are willing to donate their piece of land for the construction of the new water point.

Community members will mobilize the sand and water needed to mix with the cement during construction. The technology prescribed for this site is a borehole well drilled and installed with an India Mark II handpump. Drilling will be able to go deeper than the hand-dug well method, accessing safe, reliable water far below where a hand-dug well could ever reach. Because there are experiences of encountering bedrock in the area, drilling stands as the best option for restoring clean and safe water here.

After conducting proper hydrogeological surveys to confirm the desired site, the drill team will begin the process of creating a new well. Once the well is drilled to a sufficient water column, it will be cased, developed, and then tested before being handed over to the community.


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 1 latrine per household) before the pump is installed at the new well.

This social program includes the assignment of 1 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 we have empowered them with the tools they will need.

Project Updates

January, 2021: Kinuma Kyarugude Community project complete!

A clean water well has been drilled in Kinuma Kyarugude Community, Uganda! Community members have also attended training sessions during which they worked together to make a development action plan. They are working to build new facilities, tools, and habits to improve living standards in Kinuma Kyarugude.

"I am very grateful to you for rehabilitating this water point, especially during this period of COVID-19 lockdown where we were having challenges of water for handwashing," shared Harriet Birungi.

"The long-distance we traveled to collect water from the neighboring communities will be reduced since this water point is closer to my home."

New Borehole

Community members participate in the hydrogeological survey.

We worked with the community to determine the best possible sites for this well. Some community members were willing to host the drilling technicians, giving them a place to sleep and food to eat. Many of them were there each day to watch the drilling.

When it came time to build the cement well pad, community members found fine sand and water to mix the cement. After the cement platform dried, a stainless steel Consallen was installed and is now flowing with clean water.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Sub-County and district stakeholders were not in attendance. A few people, including the Water and Sanitation Committee members, were present. The water source was handed over to them for use. One of the Water and Sanitation Committee members gave a brief speech thanking us for rehabilitating their water point. Members showed their excitement by dancing and clapping their hands.

People singing and dancing at the rehabilitated well.


The community was mobilized through a series of meetings that sensitized them on the importance and purpose of 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.

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

Harriet Birungi

We worked with the community to establish 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 used to pay for any repairs to the well if an issue arises. The group also agreed on a social fund to 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 monitor these facilities' construction, such as latrines, dishracks, refuse pits, handwashing facilities, and bath shelters.

We have trained local artisans 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.

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

November, 2020: Kinuma Kyarugude Community project underway!

Dirty water is making people in Kinuma Kyarugude 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

Abundant water is often right under our feet! Beneath the Earth’s surface, rivers called aquifers flow through layers of sediment and rock, providing a constant supply of safe water. For borehole wells, we drill deep into the earth, allowing us to access this water which is naturally filtered and protected from sources of contamination at the surface level. First, we decide where to drill by surveying the area and determining where aquifers are likely to sit. To reach the underground water, our drill rigs plunge through meters (sometimes even hundreds of meters!) of soil, silt, rock, and more. Once the drill finds water, we build a well platform and attach a hand pump. If all goes as planned, the community is left with a safe, closed water source providing around five gallons of water per minute! Learn more here!

A Year Later: Money and Time Saved!

January, 2022

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kinuma Kyarugude 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!

Before this borehole well was completed, Kinuma Kyrarugude's people had to pay for water each time they fetched it. "It was expensive," explained Grace Katusiime, 26, a trader, "because we used to buy water from [the] public standpipe."

But now that there is a reliable source of clean, safe water nearby, Grace doesn't have to struggle as much.

"This water point has enabled me to always get clean water for both personal hygiene and other domestic work," Grace continued. "It has helped me to save some money because I no longer buy water for domestic use."

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 Kinuma Kyarugude 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 Kinuma Kyarugude 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.


Project Sponsor - Estate of Barteld Merema
In memory of Jeff B. Johnson
New York Blockchain Week Campaign for Water
39 individual donor(s)