This project is a part of our shared program with The Water Trust. Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).
Welcome to the Community
This hand-dug well will be installed in Kituumu-Bagambakamu, Uganda. At this stage of the project, GPS coordinates and number served are estimates.
People here normally wake up at six in the morning to start working on their farms. They need an early start to beat the scorching sun, and normally retire from the field around 11am before lunch. After lunch, locals try to find something to do inside. The man we interviewed, Mr. Simon Bihemaiso, works in a bicycle repair shop in the afternoon. After his supper, he stays at home and listens to the radio with his family.
Women and children are those most responsible for fetching water for their families. They have different surface water sources, such as swamps and puddles. Jerrycans are dunked into the water and carried home for cleaning, washing, watering, and most importantly, drinking purposes. Once the water is home, it is separated into different containers by use. Drinking water is covered and kept in the kitchen or common room, and the rest of the water is poured into larger plastic containers.
Since surface water is completely open to contamination, it is not safe for drinking. Family members, especially young children and the elderly, often suffer from water-related diseases. These include dysentery and cholera.
Less than half of homes have their own pit latrine. Most of these don't even have doors for privacy!
There are no hand-washing stations, either. Simon Bihemaiso knows there is loss of life due to these poor conditions. Even if there was clean water for drinking, personal and environmental hygiene is important to keep that water clean. He told us, "Currently we have very poor health conditions! For example, recently Mr. Ochor Hillary lost his son called 'Innocent Wanichani' because of diarrhea."
Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training
The main objectives of this program are to get locals to always have and use proper latrines, and to adopt proper hygiene practices. Open defecation, storing water in dirty containers, and no hand-washing are all possible contaminates of water supply at the household level. Providing clean water doesn’t go far when the water doesn’t even stay clean.
This social program includes the assignment of one Community Development Officer (CDO) per village. The CDO encourages each household to build an ideal homestead that includes: a latrine with hand-washing facility, a rubbish pit, pens for animals, and a drying rack for dishes.
The training facilitator will implement the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach, which encourages local leaders to rise up and push the rest of their community to realize current practices at the individual household level – particularly open defecation – are not only unhealthy, but affect the entire village. Community members will realize the negative consequences of their current water, sanitation and hygiene behaviors, and will be inspired to take action.
Plans: Hand-Dug Well
To prepare for this project, each family must have a latrine. They must dig a pit and build a superstructure. After hygiene and sanitation training, new practices must be adopted. Six to eight local men must volunteer to help excavate the hole for the new well, and the materials needed for construction must be delivered to the site.
If no technical issues, this project will progress at a fast pace, taking only four to six weeks. The well will be lined with bricks and sealing clay. Once the well pad has cured, a Consallen pump will be installed by our mechanics. And once our community engagement team verifies that each family has their own latrine, the pump handle will be attached and the community can begin accessing clean, safe water!