Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Uganda WaSH Program

Impact: 330 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 09/14/2023

Project Features

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In an effort to get you the most accurate glimpse of life for these 330 people we plan to serve with a new water point, we have updated the narrative that was previously posted on this page.

This project was previously slated to be a hand-dug well, but bedrock in the area is requiring us to bring in a drill rig to break through and install a borehole well.

Most people in Nyakarongo Center collect their water from an open source, which is dirty and dangerous to drink. This water even causes skin rashes after people bathe with it. Drinking this water causes diarrhea to be a daily norm.

Animals come and go to drink from this open water source, too. There are so many different contaminants: mud washes into the water when it rains, women do their laundry right there and the soap and dirt washes back into the water, and the containers people dunk into the water are filthy on the outside.

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.

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 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.

New Borehole

We first thought we would be able to dig a new hand-dug well in this part of Nyakarongo. However, there is hard bedrock about 10 feet below the surface. We will be bringing in a drill rig to drill a borehole instead.

We are also rehabilitating another well on the other side of Nyakarongo to make sure there is enough clean water for everyone: Nyakarongo 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

December, 2018: Nyakarongo Center Community Project Complete

A clean water well has been drilled in Nyakarongo Community, Uganda! Community members have also attended training sessions during which they worked together to make a development action plan. They are working to build new facilities, tools, and habits that will improve living standards here.


Our staff mobilized key stakeholders, including members of the water and sanitation committee, village health trainers, and a local council chairperson. There were many other community members there too, giving us a total of 32 participants who met us under a mango tree in the center of the village.

We taught on VSLA, which stands for "Village Savings and Loan Association." People elected a chairperson, a record keeper, a box keeper and money counters to help run a savings program for the village. People will contribute with water point sustainability as the top agenda. Money beyond what's set aside for the new borehole can be used for other village development projects such as buying seed for farms or building latrines.

We taught why savings are so important, and we taught how to do so. There were demonstrations using available materials like sticks and leaves. We also handed out passbooks, a rubber stamp, and ledger books. This all involved a presentation from the facilitator on the technical part of book keeping and records.

The integration of the VSLA and Water and Sanitation Committee trainings provided people with the opportunity for saving and financing their borehole's operation and maintenance. It also created a platform that enhanced dialogue among water users focused on health, economic empowerment, and capitalization on government programs.

The trainer also introduced some hygiene and sanitation promotion activities that focused on handwashing at critical moments, using the latrine, the safe water chain, and the ideal home.

The only challenge during training was the weather. We were disrupted by rain and had to move inside a church nearby.

"This training has simplified my understanding of why water and sanitation is key to people’s health and development," said Ephraim Tumwebaze.

New Borehole

We worked with the community to determine the best possible sites for this well. Some of the community members were willing to host the drilling technicians, giving them a place to sleep and food to eat. Many of them were there each day to watch the drilling.

The team was delayed throughout the construction process. There were three failed drilling attempts. Finishing touches on the well were interrupted by the rainy season when access to the site was restricted.

The process involved:

- Identification of site
- Identification of suitable contractor
- Geophysical survey to find a site with good water
- Drilling

- Test pump for three hours to determine yield
- Building the concrete apron

- Pump installation

- Water quality test

This is a high-yielding water point that can be upgraded to a water scheme sufficient to serve the whole community and beyond.

"The community has ever since been drawing dirty water from open wells but now, their water is clean and protected. I ask my community to embrace and maintain this water point to ensure its functionality," said Mr. Wasakali.

November, 2018: Nyakarongo Center Community Project Underway

Dirty water from pooled, open surface water 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 this 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

Abundant water is often right under our feet! Beneath the Earth’s surface, rivers called aquifers flow through layers of sediment and rock, providing a constant supply of safe water. For borehole wells, we drill deep into the earth, allowing us to access this water which is naturally filtered and protected from sources of contamination at the surface level. First, we decide where to drill by surveying the area and determining where aquifers are likely to sit. To reach the underground water, our drill rigs plunge through meters (sometimes even hundreds of meters!) of soil, silt, rock, and more. Once the drill finds water, we build a well platform and attach a hand pump. If all goes as planned, the community is left with a safe, closed water source providing around five gallons of water per minute!