Kayabwe Village is located in Nkozi Parish in Mpigi District, Uganda. Most of the people in the community are subsistence farmers, earning less than $1 per day.
Before this project the main sources of water were open wells which were used by animals and were dirty, unsafe and unsuitable for human consumption.
Over 65% of the people in this community used these contaminated sources and as a result many suffered from water-related diseases which are expensive to treat with medicine. Furthermore, children and women spent over two hours a day collecting water, which had an impact on their education and income generating activities respectively.
The community members participated in all stages of the project implementation. For example, they contributed information for the baseline survey; helped to select the beneficiaries of the water jars and latrines; selected the sites of the shallow wells; donated the land where the water sources were constructed and provided labour during construction.
Two Water User Committees, each comprising of 10 members have been elected and trained. At Namirembe shallow well, seven women and three men were elected and at Mbiride Mbilaba shallow well, the committee comprises six women and four men.
The Water User Committees will be responsible for the maintenance of the facilities including carrying out minor repairs and managing the wells.
As a part of the project’s operation and maintenance plan, water user fees will be collected from the community to pay for any repairs. Each household pays 500 Ugandan shillings (approx. 12p) per month. The committees have been trained in bookkeeping to manage these fees. Other parts of the operation and maintenance plan include pump servicing, planting a fence for protection (from wildlife) around the water source and drafting by-laws for all of the water beneficiaries.
From April to September, the following was completed:
- Construction of two shallow wells (including making the bricks)
- Construction of one water harvesting jar
- Construction of one improved latrine
- Purchasing two bicycles for the two Water User Committees
- Carrying out five village hygiene and sanitation training workshops
- Carrying out five village demonstration training on good hygiene promotion
- Electing and training two Water User Committees
- Electing and training two Community Monitoring teams comprising 10 members each
- Conducting 10 house-to-house visits to promote good hygiene practices and demonstrating simple implementing measures
Hygiene and Sanitation Workshops
Ten village based Hygiene and Sanitation workshops were carried out which aimed to empower the communities with the knowledge and skills in good hygiene practice. Topics covered included:
- Constructing dish racks
- Using tippy taps for hand washing
- Using rubbish pits
- General good practice in hygiene and sanitation
House to house training
15 house-to-house workshops were carried out, involving over 70 households, with the aim of teaching good hygiene and sanitation practices. As a result, 40 households have constructed hygiene and sanitation facilities including dish racks for proper storage of utensils, tippy taps for hand washing, and soak pits for bathing.
A total of eight community demonstration workshops were carried out. All demonstrations were conducted in individual households and included:
- A demonstration of how to construct and use dish racks in order to store utensils
- The use of the tippy taps for hand washing
- The importance of a bath shelter with a soak pit to prevent excess stagnant water
72 year old Sulaiman Kaweesa has four children: two girls and two boys.
He says, “My daughters got married and left this village; my sons went to make money. So, I stay with my grandchildren, one of whom is five years old and the other 15 years old. Before, I had to go to the nearest pond to fetch water. This was difficult as I had to first filter it to separate the sand and dirt particles and then boil it thoroughly before consuming it. Often times because this procedure was long, I would just drink it which affected my health. It was also hard to maintain proper personal hygiene. Now, I have water in my house, it’s just at my doorstep. It’s clean and safe water. I use this water for boiling tea, cooking food and washing clothes. My grandchildren spend more time helping at home, and going to school as they don’t have to travel far in search of clean water anymore. This has helped to improve their school performance. I highly appreciate Just a Drop in partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line for their support to us, I never knew I would ever overcome this water problem, but now I am happy. They have given me hope”.
35 year old Harriet Ndagire is a widow with four children who runs a restaurant. She says, “After my husband died five years ago, I started up a small restaurant so that I could make a living. I used to fetch water from the nearby pond to prepare breakfast and lunch for the fishermen and other people in the community. The water from the pond wasn’t safe and clean but I had no other option. Many of them got water related diseases like diarrhoea and typhoid – they thought they were being bewitched. On one bad day, one of the fisherman found me fetching water from the pond. This was the end of me. He told everyone and most of my customers abandoned my restaurant. Life became hard again for me. I started trekking almost three kilometres every day in search for clean water. But this didn’t save me. They had lost confidence in me.
Now with the construction of the new water source, we have access to clean and safe water in my community which has helped me to revitalize my business. My customers have assurance that I use clean and safe water for preparing meals for them. I have gained their confidence once again and I have even increased the number of my customers. I am living a happier life now. I am so grateful for the support from Just a Drop together with the Norwegian Cruise Line for their effort in providing clean water in Kayabwe Village.”
Our sincere thanks to Norwegian Cruise Line for making this project possible.
Project Sponsor: Norwegian Cruise Line
Date of Project: October 2014