Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Uganda WaSH Program

Impact: 395 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/07/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Rubani Village is located in Bwijanga between the villages of Rwentale and Rusensya, with a total population of close to 200 households. However, the catchment population for this project is just over 79 households.

(Editor's Note: While this many people may have access on any given day, realistically a single water source can only support a population of 350-500 people. This community would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)

Like in other neighboring communities, most people wake up at 6am to go and work on their sugarcane plantations. Most of them are "out-growers," meaning that they grow their sugarcane in order to sell to the Kinyara Sugar Factory.

The most taxing things they have to do are weeding the sugarcane and making fire lines, which are meant to protect the crops from burning in the case a fire breaks out. Many of these farms grow things beyond sugarcane, including food crops like maize, beans and cassava.

The women return home from farming all morning until noon to prepare food for their children who go home from school for lunch. Meanwhile, the men go out to the trading center to look for other ways to earn money. Some do business repairing bicycles and motorcycles. Other men remain at home to rest as they get ready to go back to the farm for the evening hours when it's cool again.

Most people retire by 10pm to get enough rest before waking up at 6am the following day.


Most people living in Rubani fetch their water from a large unprotected spring. Plastic containers are dunked under the surface until full. A lot of the spring's water pools to the surface, which is open to contamination from surface runoff, erosion, human and animal activity, and many other sources. Animals and humans alike come to this visibly contaminated source to sate their thirst.

This water is used for irrigating farms in the dry season, watering animals, cleaning, cooking and drinking. After drinking, people suffer from typhoid.

"We drink contaminated water since we share the same water source with animals and the water changes color during the rainy season," Mr. Babyesiza Julius said.

It gets even muddier then!


Less than half of households have a pit latrine. Most of the ones we observed are in poor condition and endanger the user - they are close to collapsing. Many others lack rooftops to protect it from the elements.

We were surprised to find a hand-washing station at one household in the village; it's a rare site in rural Uganda (included in the pictures).

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


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.

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.

This project is a part of our shared program with The Water Trust. Our team is pleased to provide the reports for this project (formatted and edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Uganda.

Project Updates

December, 2018: A Year Later: Rubani-Kyawalayi Community

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to dig a new well for Rubani-Kyawalayi Community in Uganda. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories. Read more...

March, 2018: Rubani-Kyawalayi Community Project Complete

Rubani-Kyawalayi Community in Uganda has a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your donation. A new well has been dug, and water is flowing. Community members have also received training in sanitation and hygiene, and plan to share what they learned with their families and neighbors.

New Knowledge

We trained the newly-formed water sanitation committee (WSC) at Mr. Matsiko Kenneth's home for three full days. Mr. Kenneth was elected to be the group's treasurer, and everyone agreed that he lives in a central location that's convenient for meetings.

The entire group was trained, 10 total including Mr. Kenneth, two village health trainers, a local council chair, and one opinion leader. Everyone was respectful and participated well in each activity.

Training taught committee members about their different roles. There is a WSC chairman, vice chairman, secretary, treasurer, two well caretakers, and mobilizer.

Training raised awareness on keeping water clean, routes of contamination, hand-washing, hygiene practices, and gender. Lessons also equipped the WSC with the right knowledge to do their job well, including managing finances and keeping records. They are now able to be effective ambassadors of good hygiene, sanitation, and health in their neighborhoods. They even have a community plan to carry out everything they learned.

Since many locals are illiterate, our training facilitator used simple language and many pictures. Participants also formed small groups to discuss the pictures and what practices they illustrated.

"I have learned the importance of proper hygiene and sanitation in our homes. It helps save us from diseases like diarrhea, typhoid, and dysentery," Mr. Duncan Bagumirabingi said.

Hand-Dug Well

We worked together with the community to find the most suitable place for a new well. They'd run sites by our technicians, who would confirm the hydrogeological viability.

The community helped excavate the well with our technician's guidance. We managed to reach 30 feet, and we measured a static water level of 18 feet.

The well was then cased with brick and mortar up to ground level, and then the technician casted the concrete apron to protect the water source.

Once that had cured, the mechanic could install the stainless steel Consallen pump.

Mr. Julius Babyesiza witnessed the first pumps of clean water coming from the well.

"We are sure that we are now drinking safe water as compared to the dirty water from the open source. Thank you," he exclaimed.

He and the rest of his community will unite through regular meetings about the VSLA (village savings and loan association), that will give families an opportunity to save their money to be used for pump repairs and other development projects.

November, 2017: Rubani-Kyawalayi Community Project Underway

We are excited to announce that a project to provide clean water for the Rubani-Kyawalayi Community in Uganda is underway. A new well is being excavated, and the community will attend sessions on sanitation and hygiene practices. Together, these resources will go a long way toward stopping the spread of disease in the area. We just posted a report including information about the community, project details, and pictures. We’ll keep you informed as the work continues.

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.

A Year Later: Rubani-Kyawalayi Community

December, 2018

“I used to walk more than a mile to fetch water, so most times I came back home when it was dark,” said Frank Tumwesige. Now he can get water quickly at any time from the nearby well.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Rubani-Kyawalayi 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!

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to dig a new well for Rubani-Kyawalayi Community in Uganda. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – and we’re excited to share this one from local team member Olive Kamusiime with you.

"Security while collecting water has improved," Julius Babyesiza told us during a recent visit to the well.

"Before this water point, there were two reported cases of snake bites occurring while people were drawing water from the open water source. The parents would prevent their children from going to the water point in fear of them being attacked by the reptiles."

The community only had an open water source that it shared with animals. Whenever it rained, the water became turbid and brown. On those days, people were forced to travel more than 2 miles to the neighboring communities to get drinking water.

Community members gather around the well.

However, there is a big change after the completion of the water point. People do not have to go long distances to get safe water.

"We can access the water point at any time of the day since it is near our homes," said Julius.

Construction of the well is only one step along the journey toward sustainable access to clean water. The Water Project is committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by donors like you, allows us to maintain our relationships with communities by visiting up to 4 times each year to ensure that the water points are safe and reliable.

This is just one of the many ways that we monitor projects and communicate with you. Additionally, you can always check the functionality status and our project map to see how all of our water points are performing, based on our consistent monitoring data.

One project is just a drop in the bucket towards ending the global water crisis, but the ripple effects of this project are truly astounding. This project in Rubani-Kyawalayi, Uganda is changing many lives.

Every day after school, Frank Tumwesige was sent to go fetch water for his mother to prepare dinner.

"I used to walk more than a mile to fetch water, so most times I came back home when it was dark," he said.

Frank used to fear moving in the dark because he was afraid he would get attacked by wild animals. However, with the commissioning of the water point, he is now very happy because water is near his home. He is not afraid to fetch water at any time.

This is only possible because of the web of support and trust built between The Water Project, our local teams, the community, and you. We are excited to stay in touch with this community and support their journey with safe water.

Read more about The Water Promise and how you can help.

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 Rubani-Kyawalayi 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 Rubani-Kyawalayi 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.