Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Uganda WaSH Program

Impact: 250 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/11/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Most people in this part of Nyakarongo Community collect their water from an open water source.

A lot of time is spent on accessing safe water in other parts of the community. As a result, they only use safe water sparingly for drinking and limited cooking purposes - if they have any at all. For bathing and general hygiene purposes, dirty water is used which will cause skin rashes. The open well is contaminated by pollutants from nearby farms, human waste, and animals.

Fewer than half of households have latrines. Most of the latrines in this village are ordinary unlined pits latrines. They are mainly contracted with locally available materials, including mud.

The community largely understands the importance of sanitation and hygiene but they don’t give it a priority since the impact on their health is not always direct compared to other household necessities.

"As a community, we are ready and pledge total support," Mr. Perez Asiimwe said about working in partnership to improve sanitation in the community and rehabilitate the nearby borehole.

Nyakarongo is located at the border of Kiryandongo and Masindi district. The community’s predominant activity is farming. A day in this village starts with farming in gardens. Most people eat the leftover food from dinner as breakfast - the parents as they go to the farm and the children as they walk to school.

During sunny days, the women or female siblings who are no longer going to school come back home to prepare lunch on sunny days. They return home with firewood, water, and food for the day's cooking. The common types of food include cassava, potatoes, and maize. Millet bread with meat is a delicacy for special meals just like many other communities in western Uganda.

After lunch, the ladies remain at home to prepare for supper. In this village supper is the main meal of the day hence given a lot of attention. Preparing some meals takes more than four hours depending on the distances to the water sources, type of food, size of the family, the nature of the cooking, fuel used, and the weather conditions.

Meanwhile, their male counterparts are either take on informal day-labor jobs for pay or run a small business in the trading center. Others go for socializing (drinking alcohol and gambling). Christianity is the dominant religion so on Sundays people take a rest from the daily routines to go to church.

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.

Rehabilitated Well

We are rehabilitating a hand-dug well for the community to ensure everyone has access to safe water! Not only that, but we are doing two other projects in the same area: restoring water to another well and also constructing a new one. Learn more here and here.

Improved Sanitation

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.

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

Project Updates

August, 2018: Nyakarongo Community Project Complete

Water is flowing again from a well in Nyakarongo, Uganda. People are thrilled about this development that has further unified them as a community. They also attended hygiene and sanitation training, and a self-help group has been strengthened to better take care of their well.


We paid a baseline visit to Nyakarongo in preparation for this rehabilitation project, but it certainly wasn't our first visit. We have been in a continued relationship with the people there and have seen a great improvement when it comes to sanitation and hygiene.

Acknowledging the great strides this community has made in establishing great facilities and healthy habits, we focused in on the need for greater water point ownership and sustainability.

We held a training to establish and encourage a self-help group that will spearhead income-generating activities, manage the water point, and support their neighbors as they develop together. For the establishment of this group, we required at least 25 households to initially attend training and buy into the concept. These sessions were held at Mr. Asiimwe Perez's household, who lives closest to the well we were rehabilitating.

The self-help group will contribute greatly to having continued safe water access in Nyakarongo, thanks to their systematic, manageable, and rewarding way to save money. Participants discussed the best way to manage their household savings while prioritizing some of those savings for water point maintenance. The group currently has 31 members who are actively saving their money.

"The self-help group training was very good for our community since it will help us save our money and bring the community members together as they care for the water point," said Mr. Olwora Malik.

Well Rehabilitation

We needed around 700 bricks, 9 bags of cement, aggregates, and sand to rehabilitate this water point. Wear and tear over the years subjected this well to contamination, so our artisans saw the need to reconstruct the lining, well pad, and drainage.

The technicians arrived on site, dismantled the pump, and broke down the old concrete.

It is extremely important to always cover up an open well when you're not there working on it! 

They cased the well, reconstructed the well pad, and let all of that dry.

The team looked for tree branches, fronds, or anything else they could lay over the top of the concrete as it dried.

Once dry, they put the Consallen pump back on.

Community members built a new fence around their rehabilitated well to keep animals away.

People were back at the well with their containers as soon as the pump handle was installed. This rehabilitation restored safe water to a well that is heavily relied on in Nyakarongo.

"We use the clean water from the well to improve our sanitation. We drink, wash, cook, and bathe with clean water to avoid diseases," said Denis Boonanibo.

"Due to the water point being near, I save a lot of time going to and from the water point," said Mrs. Irene Ayo.

"Besides that, the water is good and safe for my children as they never suffer from diseases like diarrhea."

July, 2018: Nyakarongo Community Project Underway

Dirty water from open sources is making people in Nyakarongo Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know your community through the narrative and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good news!

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.


Project Sponsor - Mirabeau Chapel