Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Uganda WaSH Program

Impact: 195 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 09/19/2023

Project Features

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Community Profile

The community members wake up at 6am to go till their farmland. Major crops grown here include maize, beans, potatoes and sugarcane. The sugarcane is sold to the Kinyara Tea Factory.

Farm work goes on up to 1pm when they go to the trading center to sell or trade their harvest or wares.

The community members are united, coming together for the community's overall success.


The main source of water in Byebega is found in a swampy, overgrown area. The community members are filled with fear as they wander to through the reeds to this unprotected spring. They told us they are often attacked by water snakes.

This water is entirely unprotected from contaminants. Rotting plants float on the surface, animals come and go as they please, and rainwater washes dirt and waste into the water. The water not only is murky, but it smells too.

Plastic containers are dunked directly in the water until full. Not only do people suffer from snake bites, but they suffer from the dirty water itself. Drinking this water results in typhoid. The water is also used for all other needs, including cooking, cleaning, and watering animals.


Open defecation is a common practice in this community, with many people resorting to the privacy of bushes to relive themselves. 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 are lacking rooftops to protect it from the elements. There were some that had no superstructure at all!

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: Byebega-Kirisa Community

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to dig a well for Byebega-Kirisa 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: Byebega-Kirisa Community Project Complete

Byebega-Kirisa 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. David Ayesiga's home for three full days. Mr. Ayesiga was elected to be the group’s chairperson, and everyone agreed that he lives in a central location that’s convenient for meetings.

The entire group was trained, 10 total including Mr. Ayesiga, 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.

Mr. Timothy Kabagambe has agreed to be one of the people most responsible for keeping this water point clean and in good working order. He might even establish a charge for anyone who would come to the water point with a dirty container. These charges for breaking rules would then be saved in an account for pump repairs.

"Many people in our community have been fetching water with dirty jerrycans full of algae, not knowing that they could easily fall sick. But through this training, we have been taught that fetching water in dirty jerrycans could lead to diseases like typhoid, which are costly to treat," said Mr. Kabagambe.

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 25 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 cured, the mechanic installed the stainless steel Consallen pump.

"Thanks for saving us from sharing the open water source with animals like cows. Besides, there were very many threats reported by water snakes which used to attack community members as they fetched water," Mr. Ayesiga said.

Now, clean water is in a safe, open, and accessible place to serve the people of Byebega.

January, 2018: Byebega-Kirisa Community Project Underway

We are excited to announce that a project to provide clean water for the Byebega-Kirisa 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 Videos

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: Byebega-Kirisa Community

December, 2018

Kimari Night’s mother didn’t let her fetch water from the open water source due to concern about snakes, but now she lets Kimari get water from the nearby well any time she wants.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Byebega-Kirisa 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 well for Byebega-Kirisa 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.

The community used to fetch water from an open source - an abandoned sand mine. During the rainy season the water became turbid and the water was completely unusable. However, with the construction of this new water well, the community is very happy because they now they have access to safe and clean water in the village.

The community is proud to have a water point.  People can now fetch water at any time and no longer have to worry about traveling to the open and unsafe mine source. It is so convenient that children now often help their parents get water. We spoke with Mary Atugonza, who reported that cases of diarrheal diseases have declined since the completion of the project - likely the result of access to safe water and improved hygiene and sanitation.

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 Byebega-Kirisa is changing many lives.

Bridget Tumusiime a community pupil at the well

Kimari Night is a 14-year-old girl who lives in the community. She said that she can now fetch a total of four jerrycans of water after school since the water point is near her home. Before, her mother did not let her to go to the open water point because it was a habitat for snakes. So she used to walk up to the neighboring village to get water.

That danger is all in the past.

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 Byebega-Kirisa 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 Byebega-Kirisa 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.


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