In this project, a strong sense of village ownership of the water sources was evident during the implementation and decision making processes. There was very keen participation. Villagers provided food, water and accommodation to the contractors throughout the drilling process; they agreed to clear the areas where the water sources were to be constructed and they constructed fences around each of the water sources to protect them from animals. In addition, they successfully established water and sanitation committees, wherein women were given management positions on an equal basis with men.
Furthermore, each of the villages carried out health education, hygiene and sanitation meetings and training sessions. Selected villagers were also trained in the repair and maintenance of the water sources. The village committees have pledged to charge a water user fee to fund any repairs and maintenance.
We are delighted to report that the three villages of Kachaboi, Kaderin and Akoroi in Mukongoro Sub-county, Kumi District, now have access to safe, clean water through the drilling of a borehole at each village. Furthermore, with savings made during the project, a hand dug shallow well was also upgraded in the village of Amuriat.
The project was implemented by Just a Drop’s local partner PAMO volunteers, sponsored by AITO and AITO Agents.
The old water source for the village was a dirty pond, shared with cattle, and at a distance of 3km away. In the dry season, when the pond was low, queues formed to draw water and a round trip would take three hours. Up to three trips per day were required to collect water for a household.
By contrast, the water at the new well is 48m deep and supplies water to over 2,000 people. It has dramatically cut the time spent collecting water.
Anna Among is 21 years old and has a daughter of seven months. Previously she had to fetch water three times a day to supply the extended household of 15 people, but now this has changed because she lives only 300m from the new well. She says, “The new well has changed my life. The old water had tadpoles and worms in it. With the new water the food tastes better, the clothes are cleaner and everyone’s health is better. I have more time for household duties which makes me feel good.”
The water in the new well is 51m below ground level and supplies approximately 1,550 people. The old water source was a stagnant pond 6km away. The new well has saved the women and girls a lot of time in fetching water. It means they have more time to tend to their fields, which now produce more vegetables for consumption and possibly for sale. It also means that there is more time to cook meals at regular times, which is very important for the school children who come home for lunch.
The village population is 300, but the new pump supplies 700 people as the village population is expected to rise. The new pump is working very well, is easy to pump and produces enough water for everybody.
Edith Akia is 25 years old and is not yet married. She fetches water for a household of 10 people. She fetches water six times a day in a 20 litre plastic can. She carries six empty cans to the new well and carries the filled cans home, one by one. If she is feeling particularly strong she may carry two cans. She now has more time to do work around the house and has noticed in particular a significant reduction in the amount spent on medicines.
This well was not included in the original scope of works and was funded from surplus funds which accumulated due to a higher than expected amount of free village labour on the project.
Summary & Update
It is our practice at Just a Drop to monitor all projects on a regular basis to ensure that the projects are being sustained in the manner that they were intended and originally funded. To this end, Just a Drop’s Project Engineer, Colonel Mike Reynolds, visited the villages at the beginning of April 2014.
Mike says, “I visited the project on a visit to Uganda in April 2014. I inspected the three bored wells with hand pumps and the shallow hand dug well with hand pump. At the time of the visit I found some minor repairs were needed which have now been done by the contractor and all wells are working efficiently.
“The hand dug well was not on the original scope of works. However, because of the unexpectedly high level of volunteer labour enough money was saved to refurbish it. An unexpected bonus!”
29 year old Mr Okoel, from Kaderin Village, said, “This is the first borehole to be drilled here since God created the Earth”.
Mother of four, Penina Asekenye, said, “Just a drop, AITO and Pamo Volunteers have shortened my journey in search of water.”
14 year old Sarah, who lives in Akoroi Village, said, “Water is now near to our home. I shall save time for my home-work and lessons at school.”
Thank you very much to AITO and AITO Agents for making this project possible.
Project Sponsor: AITO and AITO Agents
Beneficiaries: approx 5,250