Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Uganda WaSH Program

Impact: 250 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 12/04/2023

Project Features

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Community Profile

Rubona Village is located in Masindi District, Uganda. These community members are known for sugarcane farming, which they sell to the nearby Kinayara Sugar Factory. The money they earn from this is used to pay school fees and look after the family. Food crops like maize, beans and cassava are also grown to support the family, and the surplus is always sold in the nearby markets of Bulima and Kisalizi Market which opens every Thursday.

After farming at about 1pm, the women return home to prepare lunch for their school-going children. Most children study at Bulima Primary School (a government-aided school), and there are also many private schools around the trading center. Meanwhile, the men go out to the trading center to look for other ways of earning money so as to sustain their families. Some deal in retail business (shop attendants), while others repair bicycles and motorcycles. Other men remain at home to rest as they get ready to go back to the farm in the evening (at about 5pm).

After the afternoon work, the men go to the trading center to socialize with friends until the sun sets. Others go to the football field at Bulima Primary School to either play or watch others play. The women on the other hand are at home preparing supper for the family.

It's normal to retire to bed at about 10pm to get enough rest so that they are ready to wake up at 6am the next day.


People here rely on an open water source to meet all of their needs. This water source looks like a big, cloudy puddle where water has bubbled up from the ground and mingled with rainwater. The water both smells and tastes bad, and is further contaminated by the jerrycans people dunk under the surface to fill. Community members say that they suffer from diarrhea after drinking this water, with the young children most seriously affected.

Julius Babyesiza said that "the water is so smelly and changes color during the rainy season."


Less than half of households have a pit latrine. Most of the latrines we observed are made of temporary materials such as plant materials, rice bags, etc. Many of these are about to collapse. Because of this poor latrine coverage, open defecation is a big issue here.

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: Rubona Kyagaitani Community

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to dig a well for Rubona Kyagaitani 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...

April, 2018: Rubona Kyagaitani Community Project Complete

Rubona Kyagaitani 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. Okumu Nicholas' house for three full days. Mr. Nicholas was elected to be one of the well caretakers, and everyone agreed that he lives in a central location that’s convenient for meetings.

The entire group was trained, 10 total including Mr. Nicholas, 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 a 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 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.

"From this training, I have come to learn the importance of proper disposal of feces in the latrine. It doesn't matter if it's a baby's or an adult's, because it all has to be disposed of in the latrine," Mrs. Katusiime Rosemary 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, up to 25 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.

Dirt being bailed via a rope and bucket.

"It was always a struggle to find clean drinking water before the water source was introduced," Mr. Kasaija Isaac said.

"But now, we know that we are drinking safe water, and besides, a lot of time is saved while walking to and from the water point since it's nearer to the community members."

Mr. Isaac and the rest of his community have already started saving through VSLA (village savings and loan association) so that they have money for pump repairs and other development opportunities.

January, 2018: Rubona Kyagaitani Community Project Underway

We are excited to announce that a project to provide clean water for the Rubona Kyagaitani 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: Rubona Kyagaitani Community

December, 2018

The community members are taking great care of the well by performing quarterly pump maintenance. This is evidence that the well is not only highly valued, but will continue to provide safe water here for generations to come.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Rubona Kyagaitani 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 Rubona Kyagaitani 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.

Rubona is a large community consisting of more than 200 households that did not have a functional water point before this project. People used to travel more than 2 miles to an open water source which they shared with wild animals. The long distance traveled just to drink unsafe water was a burden on community members.

It looked like this:

Now that they have a water point, such problems are in the past. The water is much closer to the people, much safer, and they don’t have to move long distance to get water.

The community is very hopeful and full of promise. They do weekly clean-ups of their water point and do quarterly servicing of the water point which helps ensure that the water point always works.

This is the community water source now:

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 Rubona Kyagaitani Community is changing many lives.

Vincent Bagota is 14 years old and attends nearby Bulima Primary School. We met him during a recent visit to the well. Vincent used to walk a long distance after school to Kisoga Village each day to get water.

"I used to come back home late when it was dark," he said.

He no longer has to make that long journey since the water point is near his home.

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 Rubona Kyagaitani 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 Rubona Kyagaitani 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.


Bounce Treatment Services
Vicki Worden in honor of Shaina Weinstein
Grasmere School
The Canon House, Ltd.
The Floyd Family
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The Mattos Family
Service Learing Club, John Adams Elementary
In honor of Caleb Joyner
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Nathalie love
Sing "Africa" by Toto at the White House
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African Student Association's Campaign for Water
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Walk for Water 2017
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