Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Uganda WaSH Program

Impact: 200 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/13/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Rwenkole village's borehole well has not been functioning for the last three years. Since then, the 200 community members have been forced to use either a contaminated, shallow, hand-dug well on the outskirts of the community or the local swamp.

Fred Aikobwa, a 13-year-old boy, said, "The only water source we use in this village is the hand-dug well near the swamp. When my mother sends me for water, I always find other children and even the elders bathing at the shores. The water sometimes changes color when we boil or use it for cooking, but we are now used to it. This has affected me many times. I suffer from waterborne diseases and skin rashes that make me go a very long distance to the health center for treatment. Then I am not able to even support my mother in the gardens."

A resident of Rwenkole, Mr. James Baguwa, described the water challenges faced by the community. "This community does not have any protected well, except one borehole which has not been functioning for almost 3 years now. The only other useable source is a shallow well which is in the neighboring village. People usually fetch water there in the evenings between 4 PM to 7 PM, and that's when you find very long queues, overcrowding, at times some people go home without water."

The village has an alternative open water source, Musoma Swamp, used by people at the extreme ends of the village.

"This is also where people bathe and the dumping place for waste products for the crude waragi (alcohol)," James continued. "People have reported several complaints of stomach problems, malaria, and typhoid, which affects their production level. They spend a lot of money and time getting medication."

Here’s what we’re going to do about it:

Rehabilitated Well

We are going to restore water to the broken-down borehole. Since this water point is located at the center of the village and easily accessible by the majority of people, unlike the springs which are located at the far ends of the village, 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.


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 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, 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.

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 they will need.

Project Updates

March, 2022: Rwenkole Well Rehabilitation Complete!

A well rehabilitated in Rwenkole, Uganda is already providing community members with clean, safe water! Additionally, we hosted a training where community members worked together to make a development action plan for their area. As a result, families are working to build new sanitation and hygiene facilities, tools, and habits that will help improve their living standards and enable a healthier life.

Happy for clean water!

Housewife Baguma Annet, 51, said, "I am very grateful for rehabilitation [of] this water point. Because I now feel my workload has reduced as compared to before since I now have water closer to me and I don't have to use it sparingly."

She continued, "The long distance we walked to collect water from other sources [is] no more. Our health [and that] of our children will improve as a result of drinking clean water from this borehole. Above all, the reduced accidents along the road, especially among our children, which were so rampant in this village, will be no more since this borehole is located at a point which is safe and easily accessible by the children."

Rehabilitated Borehole Well

We worked with the community to determine the best possible site for this rehabilitation. After meetings and visits throughout the community, together we agreed that this borehole was the best option to work on.

Throughout the construction process, several households volunteered to host the drilling technicians, giving them a place to sleep and food to eat throughout their stay.

The work team pulled up the old pump, cleared out the well, reinstalled a new stainless steel pump, and built a new well pad to once again seal off the well water from surface-level contaminants.

We conducted a yield test and checked the water’s quality to ensure the well’s ease of access and safety. With great results, we handed over the rehabilitated well to the community. The well is already providing safe, reliable water for the community’s daily use.

The dedication ceremony involved the members of the water and sanitation committee together with a few community members who were in attendance. The chairperson of the village gave a brief speech.

Joel A., 15, said, "I'm going to improve on hygiene and sanitation of our home by ensuring our latrine is cleaned regularly since we now have enough water. Also, [I will] embark on backyard gardening since it's currently a major source of income, especially during [the] dry season."


The first training session focused on financial planning. We mobilized the community through a series of meetings that sensitized them on the importance and purpose of saving. This included meetings dedicated to creating a community profile, where participants map the physical environment and stakeholders in their own community. We also ran a participatory vulnerability capacity assessment exercise. In this session, community members mapped out their shared risks and opportunities, including the water point breaking down.

Next, we scheduled the savings group training date with the community. We planned for a one-day training to form the savings group and discuss the best practices for maintaining and managing it.

We worked with the community to establish a Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) and a water user committee. The savings group set up a fund to provide small loans to each other and another fund they will use to pay for any repairs to the well if an issue arises. The group also agreed on a social fund that will provide grants to fellow group members and help them with funeral expenses or catastrophes such as fire damage. Our teams will provide follow-up training to support putting the savings group into practice while also offering continuous coaching in records management.

Additional training sessions focused on hygiene and sanitation at the personal, household, community, and environmental levels. In collaboration with the community facilitator and local leaders, we trained households on critical hygiene and sanitation facilities to build. These include latrines, dish racks, refuse pits, handwashing facilities, and bathing shelters. Our teams monitor these facilities’ construction while helping the community learn how to best use and care for them.

Finally, we led an additional training for local artisans to teach them how to fabricate and sell locally used and accepted sanitation products that allow for more hygienic and accessible latrines.

Just as with the financial training, we will continue to support the community in their sanitation and hygiene progress through monitoring visits. In addition, we will offer follow-up assistance and refresher training to ensure community members follow through in building their new facilities and developing new habits.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

January, 2022: Rwenkole Well Rehabilitation Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Rwenkole drains people’s time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

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

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! Learn more here!

A Year Later: Water brings hope for a brighter future!

March, 2023

A year ago, your generous donation helped Rwenkole Community in Uganda access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Gerald. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Rwenkole 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!

Before we rehabilitated the well in the community of Rwenkole last year, community members had to walk long distances to collect contaminated water from a hand-dug well or the local swamp to meet their daily needs.

"We used to walk very long distances to access water from other water sources [during] the time our borehole broke down," said 15-year-old Gerald K.

Gerald continued, "This affected my studies, and I had to drop out of school for fear of being beaten by the teachers each time I went to school late."

But since the well was rehabilitated, water has been easier for community members to collect and safer to consume.

"The borehole is nearer to most households. [I] am always fully engaged to collect water for some people, especially those constructing houses within the village. [I] am paid for the services I render to them. The money I get is used to support my parents [and] buy food at home," said Gerald.

Thankfully, Gerald has been able to make good use of the water and earn an income through his labors.

"During this period, I have managed to save some money from the water-collecting service I provide to some people in the village. My parents are planning to support me since [I] am beginning a vocational training course next year as a result of the earnings from this water point," concluded Gerald.

What a relief to know that, thanks to this water point, Gerald's future is looking much more promising.


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 Rwenkole 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 Rwenkole 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.


The Greig Family Fund
Family of Kot Lailert and Phil Rogaway
Douglas Hudson Family Charitable Fund
Bulkin Charitable Fund
26 individual donor(s)