In June 2013, work began in Kiyunga Village on a water supply project to provide a borehole. The project was implemented by Just a Drop’s local partner Butterman Outreach Centre for Community Health Services (BORCCH) and sponsored by Corinthia Hotels.
Objectives of the project:
- To provide an improved, safe and clean water source to Kiyunga Village
- To ensure good health amongst the village population through access to safe and clean water
- To reduce the spread of water and sanitation related diseases in the community
- To promote appropriate rural sanitation and hygiene practices.
Kiyunga Village is located in Bulongo Sub-county, Luuka District. It is surrounded by schools, a District Hospital, District Administration Offices, County Administration Offices, and a prison. These services have attracted a large number of people to the area and consequently, the trading centre in the village is rapidly becoming the biggest in Luuka District.
Yet, despite a population of over 2,000 people in the village, the only source of water was from two spring wells which were also used by livestock. In the evenings and early morning hours, both wells were crowded with women, children and their yellow jerry cans.
Hours are spent walking to these wells and waiting in the long queues before having to carry back the heavy containers. Many others instead go in search of nearby water sources such as muddy streams and stagnant open wells. Whilst walking to collect water, women and girls risk animal attacks and even risk being attacked and raped as they travel alone through the thick bushes and forests.
Villagers agreed to form a Village Water and Sanitation Committee to be trained to manage the project over the long term. The committee members were elected by the village and their role will include:
- Collecting fees decided by the committee for repair and maintenance;
- Training the community on how to operate the borehole;
- Ensuring that all water collecting facilities are clean and maintained.
The next stage saw the Water User Committee, water engineer, BORCCH staff and the community itself choose the best site for the borehole (with advice from Just a Drop). Clearing of the site was carried out by the community members themselves as excitement grew about the new water source. The contractors were supplied with lunch and accommodation as the construction took place. The new water source was built without any significant delays.
The Committee was trained to establish and manage funds for the repair and maintenance of the water supply system. A fee of 1,500 UGX (approx 42p) was agreed to be paid per home annually to the treasury of the Committee. The Committee opened an account with RUBUDA a village Microfinance organisation situated in the local Kiyunga Trading Centre.
The funds collected will be used for maintenance and repairs of the borehole. Currently villages already provided with these types of water supply have generally managed to save sufficient funds to cover basic maintenance costs.
- The dangers of open defecation;
- The reason why everyone should be able to use latrines (as some villagers believed that children under the age of seven should not be allowed to use them);
- The importance of hand washing after using a latrine;
- How to construct a ‘tippy-tap’ (a hands free tap) near the latrines;
- The importance of keeping the borehole clean and using clean water collecting tins.
Agnes Baita, an orphan who lives with her elderly grandmother Kadope Tapenensi in Kiyunga Village, was 16 years old when she was raped as she walked to fetch water early one morning before going to school.
Her following pregnancy made it even more difficult to fetch water from the swamp or from the distant and crowded spring wells in the village. The impacts of water insecurity for pregnant women can be devastating. Women often have no choice but to walk the long distances and carry the 20kg of water back home each day which can cause miscarriages and still births.
As a result of the pregnancy, Agnes explained she had to drop out of school. She thanked everyone involved for constructing the borehole in her neighbourhood and declares that it will save many other young girls from a similar fate.
Our sincere thanks to Corinthia Hotels for making this project possible.
Date of Project: October 2013