"It is very challenging and hard to access water due to the poor condition of this water point," said Jimmy Birengeso, a young man who lives in Byerima village.
The 900 people here do not have a reliable source of water. Each day, people have to pass two nonfunctional wells searching for water, explained Local Council member Nicholas Balinda. He said that families would often all go to fetch water together because it is so far.
"The water point is in a very poor condition and wastes a lot of time during pumping. It takes about 15-20 minutes to fill a 20-liter jerrican. Sometimes it completely fails to bring water, and we are forced to go the neighboring villages of Bubanda, moving a distance of about two to three kilometers to get water," Jimmy added.
Byerima is hilly with fertile soils, and the community members are engaged in both commercial and subsistence farming. The village is covered with sugarcane plantations for commercial purposes and food crops like maize, beans, cassava, groundnuts, sweet potatoes, and many others for subsistence purposes.
Whitney is a pupil at Bulima Valley Primary School. When asked about this water point, she said, “This water point is in a very poor condition and hard to pump water out of it. It takes a very long time to fill a jerrican, and it is hard for me as a child to get water because it requires a lot of energy to pump."
"Currently, there is an alternative borehole at Byerima Primary School, where I get water because it is also near home, and people are allowed to access the school premises," she continued.
"However, when the school is fully open, and all children are in school, the community members are restricted from accessing the school to get water from the school borehole. I am worried if this water point is not repaired and the schools fully open next year, accessing water will be a big problem in our village, and even for children.”
Here’s what we’re going to do about it:
We are going to restore water to the broken-down borehole. This water point is located at the center of the village and easily accessible by the majority of people. When this borehole is restored to its original status, it will provide the community with easy access to clean and safe water. We will remove the old pump, clear out the well, reinstall a new stainless steel pump, and build a new well pad to protect the water.
In addition to the rehab, we will rehabilitate the other borehole for this community to alleviate the pressure on a single water point. We estimate that a single water point can serve about 350 people, so two reliable water points will ensure no longer any long lines here. Go here to learn more about the accompanying project.
Training’s main objectives are the use of latrines and observing proper hygiene practices since these goals are inherently connected to clean water provision. Open defecation, water storage in unclean containers, and the absence of handwashing are all possible contaminants of a household water supply. Each participating village must achieve Open Defecation Free status (defined by 1 latrine per household) before the pump installation for a shallow hand-dug well.
This social program includes the assignment of 1 Community Development Officer (CDO) to each village. The CDO encourages each household to build an ideal homestead that includes a latrine, handwashing facility, a separate structure for animals, a rubbish pit, and a 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 individual households' current practices – particularly the practice of open defecation – are unhealthy and 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.
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 can live a healthy life free of preventable diseases. We endeavor that people will have both access to sustainable, clean water and access to sanitation at the end of our presence in the community. We have now organized families to form digging groups for latrine construction and empower them with the tools they need.