Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Uganda WaSH Program

Impact: 200 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Nov 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/11/2024

Project Features

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The hand-dug well in Alimugonza Community is in need of repair. It was constructed 5 years ago but is not working efficiently due to lack of maintenance by the community. Community members no longer have to travel long distances to access water, but a rehabilitation is crucial to ensure that the water they collect from this well is safe.

Since this area is home to thousands of people, not everyone is able to use this well, and so we are working to rehabilitate and install other water points here.

This community has backslid on its level of sanitation over the past 5 years. There is some knowledge in the community about improved hygiene and sanitation from past trainings, but they are not putting that into action.

More than half of households have pit latrines, which mean open defecation is still an issue in this community. There are very few improved pit latrines and no handwashing stations.

Most people here are peasant farmers. It is the rainy season in Masindi and this is the time when people are mostly planting their crops. During this season they go to gardens and return home around midday. They rest and eat lunch with their children who come back home from school.

Thereafter some go back to the garden to work until late in the evening. The men tend to go for social activities while women remain home for household chores. The men come back later to eat dinner and sleep.

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 the 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

The community will participate in excavating and constructing the water source. The 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.

We are also rehabilitating another hand dug well and building two more wells for the community!

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.

Project Updates

November, 2018: Alimugonza Pabidi Community Project Complete

Water is flowing again from a well in Alimugonza Pabidi, Uganda. People are thrilled about this development that has further unified the community. They also attended hygiene and sanitation planning sessions and financial training.


There were two types of training as construction went on. First, the community gathered together to assess their own living standards and analyze the problems that most commonly affect their families. Knowing their issues, we worked with people to develop an action plan for their community. Their second training was in financial management.

Mapping out the community together made for a lot of good discussions. It helped the community members identify different parts of the community and mark out where issues are most often experienced. In this case, the problem we were ultimately mapping was poor sanitation: all community members had to mark their homes on the map, then brainstorm qualities of an ideal home and qualities of a good latrine. Members with a good latrine were requested to put a mark on their household. Nobody came up since most homes have latrines but are not properly finished. They are missing doors, walls, and a handwashing facility.

The community immediately started to come up with ways to improve their sanitation.

The second training was on how to create a village savings and loans program, wherein money is set apart for both maintenance of the water point and other development opportunities in Alimugonza. If a family needs help building a new latrine, these funds can be used.

"The saving group is going to help us address the challenge of lack of accountability for money collected for the maintenance of water point since all money will be kept in saving box, and when water point breaks down on the day of saving we get money from the box and repair the water. Also, our personal savings will help us to develop," said Stella Harunda.

We are also conducting training to attain 100% sanitation coverage as reflected in latrines, handwashing stations, bathing shelters, and drying racks at each household.

Then the water and sanitation committee (WSC) will be trained on:
- maintenance and operation of water point
- fecal-oral route
- hygiene practices
- sanitation ladder, why it’s important, and how it links to groundwater pollution
- gender task analysis, and
- WSC roles and responsibilities of each member, and their key role in operation and maintenance of the water point, including financial management and record keeping.

Peter Okello started building a new, improved latrine after training.

Well Rehabilitation

It took about a month of work to clean out this deep hand-dug well in Alimugonza Pabidi. Two artisans worked both from inside the well and ground level to restore clean water here.

The bottom of the well needed to be cleaned out, and the sides of the well needed to be relined. One artisan worked from the bottom of the well, filling a bucket with silt that the other would pull up with a rope. Once the bottom was cleared, some casing was built and installed to better protect this well from all contamination. The final depth is 8.5 meters.

Editor's Note: We are not able to show actual construction on the well in Alimugonza Pabidi because of a technical difficulty, so the excavation picture here is from a similar process done in another Ugandan community.

Community members helped gather sand to mix cement, and our artisans used it to build a new well pad to cover the 1.2-meter opening. This new well pad will effectively protect the well water from any contamination that would come from above ground.

Once dry, mechanics arrived to install the stainless steel Consallen pump.

Now, water is flowing!

The community is extremely grateful for this work that ensures they continue to drink clean, safe water.

"This water point has the best water in our village, and we are grateful," said Irene Aylorwoth.

September, 2018: Alimugonza Community Project Underway

Work has begun in Alimugonza Community! This project in Alimugonza is crucial to ensuring that the water from an old well remains safe to drink. Our team plans to reconstruct the casing and the well pad to protect their water from contamination, and will also build up a strong management group that will care for this water point.

Get to know this community through the introduction 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.