This hand-dug well will be installed in Kibyama-Titi Community of Kiryandongo, Uganda. At this stage of the project, GPS coordinates are an estimate.
Kibyama-Titi is home to 160 people from 32 different households, all who rely on contaminated surface water for their daily needs.
The majority of community members rely solely on farming to provide their daily bread. Crops grown are mainly for household consumption, while any leftovers are sold to raise money for other domestic needs. Men and women wake up very early to attend their farms before the sun is high in the sky; it is much too hot to work out in the open during the afternoon. When it's too hot, women return home to do household chores and men head to the trading center to grab a drink with their friends.
Water pools in a swampy area nearby the community. The surface is visibly contaminated with algae, soil and waste that give the water a murky color. Animals come and go as they please, sharing the same source with their human neighbors. During our first visit, there was animal poop right next to the water! Garbage, fertilizers, and feces wash down into the water when it rains.
Women and children are most responsible for getting the water their families need. They kneel down and dunk a plastic container until it is full, which is lugged back home where it is stored until it needs to be filled again.
After drinking this water, locals suffer from waterborne diseases like typhoid and cholera. It's no wonder that with these conditions, children and the elderly often suffer from diarrhea. We heard a report of this from Mr. Kabiri Rogers, who says that "currently there is a lot of malaria, cough, flu and diarrhea among children."
No more than half of households have their own pit latrine, while those that do haven't even built walls. As we begin to construct the hand-dug well, we will emphasize the importance of well-built latrines. Without good facilities, locals are forced to seek the privacy of bushes. When sanitation isn't a priority, the safety of water cannot be ensured even when it's from a water well, and it definitely doesn't stay clean at the household level.
Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training
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 hand-washing 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, hand-washing 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 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.
Plans: Hand-Dug Well
The community will participate in excavating and constructing the water source. In the meantime, 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.
Actual well construction will take four to six weeks if there are no challenges. The well will be lined with bricks and sealing clay, and finished with a Consallen pump.