A recent campaign in Uganda has helped provide clean water for schools throughout the Ruhaama district - an area like many others in Uganda where children can't go to school because of the time they spend collecting water or because they fall ill from drinking the water they fetch from contaminated sources. Thanks to the support of The Water Project donors, ten wells have been completed to date.
Our program director, Jack Owen, happened to catch the first water flowing from this well. This clip is unedited...straight from the field to you.
From Kishami Primary School, our implementing partner, LWI, reports... (unedited)
"When the team arrived, community members were using a spring located one kilometer away from the community to meet all of their water needs, and because of this, residents were suffering from typhoid and malaria. The students came with food for the team every day they were drilling, until they completed the borehole. During the team’s stay, community members assembled a water committee consisting of nine men and two women who assisted the team with the water project whenever possible, provided food for the LWI Uganda staff and will be responsible for creating a water maintenance and management plan in coordination with the LWI Uganda sustainability plan. The nearest school is a primary school located in the community whose students, teachers and administrative personnel all have access to the new, safe water source. Most community members sustain their families by farming and selling their produce at local markets. Some however, are forced to keep all of their produce to feed their families.
The team had an opportunity to meet with forty-nine year old community member and head teacher, Wycliffe Niwamanya, who stated, 'Our relationship with the community and the school was not so bad but was somehow loose, but ever since we called on them to be involved in this water, I have seen a positive response from them, they agreed to bring food from their homes to feed the LWI staff and to be around in time of construction of the borehole, So that shows that this borehole has strengthened our cooperation with them.'
The LWI Uganda team shared an introductory hygiene lesson with 79 primary school students. During the hygiene education, the team addressed: Disease transmission, germs, hand washing, proper water saving techniques, how to keep the water clean, how to keep the pump site clean and disease transmission stories. The team also shared: The Three Legged Stool which was trained by Lead trainer Max. All of the students in this training had vast knowledge about a balanced diet and participated fully. The students were amazed by the spiritual aspect of the Three Legged Stool because they had never thought about how a balanced diet would relate to us spiritually. The last lesson for the day was Keeping the Water Clean: water transportation and storage. This lesson was also very interesting to the students because of the borehole demonstration by one of them and Ruth carrying a jug on her head going to the borehole. The trainer went through how to keep where the water is found clean, how to keep the water clean after it is carried home and where the water is stored. The students really showed how attentive they had been in the earlier lessons when they brought up hand washing and proper covering of our food and water. In this school, the students identified the following as the most common unhealthy practices in both their school and their community: Defecating in the open, eating uncovered food, washing hands in the same containers, drinking contaminated water, using dirty utensils, swimming in water sources, grazing animals around the water sources, throwing rubbish everywhere and urinating everywhere. The most common illnesses were as follows: Diarrhea, typhoid, malaria, dysentery, headache, cough and flu, stomach pains and worms. It is hoped that all of these practices will no longer be used after the completing of the hygiene education, and that these diseases will not be as predominant in the community.
Kishami Church of Uganda is located near Kishami primary school. The church leader is also born again. There are some challenges facing this community: The church holds evangelism programs once a year. This mission is done in schools and surrounding communities to the church. The Lord commands us to go and make disciples and if one spent a whole year without sharing the gospel except for that one time in a year, then we are denying many the privilege of being in God’s family. Ask whether there is some sort of training prior to going out for evangelism, there is none. If evangelism is done once a year, it is possible that these people are rarely followed up. Also, if salvation occurred within the already existing members of the church, there are discipleship nurturing offered to them so that they can be grounded and grow in their faith. There is a need for deliberate equipping of the church leaders as far as discipleship is concerned. The fifty members who are born again are not discipled and yet they are the ones who spearhead the evangelism mission. They have the passion to go out and find souls for Christ but they need some training. Something good about this group is that they meet weekly (Wednesdays) and they pray together and share in God’s Word. The church leader also mentioned that it is from the born again that the church leaders come. From the church revival of the 1940s, the Anglican Church leadership decided that church leaders be those who profess salvation in Jesus Christ only. I love the trend this church is taking of getting church leaders only from the born again members. This means that they can stir the church’s decisions in the right direction if they are better equipped for the responsibility. I believe that by God’s grace these few Christians could be used by God to save many more souls. It is these that we need to intentionally train and equip with evangelism and discipleship skills so that they in turn can train and equip the others."