|Type||Gravity Flow Water System|
|Partner||Living Water International|
This project involves building a gravity flow water system to move water from a source spring, which was tested and determined to be sufficient to supply clean safe water, to 36 access points throughout this region of Uganda. The project includes 12.7 kilometers (almost 8 miles) of piping, the installation of a sedimentation tank where water will be filtered and clarified, the construction of a cement 30,000-liter water reservoir with protective fencing, the installation and connection of all pipe fittings, and the construction and installation of 36 tap stands with concrete markers and signage. The total budget for this comprehensive project is $156,744 of which Ingomar Living Waters is funding $40,000.
According to a baseline survey on water access, sanitation and hygiene commissioned by our partner, safe water in Rukiri sub-county is estimated to only be accessible for 47% of the population. The main water sources that communities in Rukiri sub-county currently depend on are protected springs, tap stands, and a few shallow wells. Women and girls carry the primary responsibility for collecting water for their households every day. The task of collecting water requires multiple daily trips to a local water source, many of which are not a clean, safe source of water. Women and girls routinely carry one or two water containers, weighing up to 40 pounds apiece, up and down winding pathways. They often travel alone to complete this task. Predators, both human and animal, prey on travelers putting them at risk.
ABOUT THE COMMUNITY The Kigunga parish has been one of the most water stressed regions in Uganda with over 5,000 people suffering without access to safe water. The parish is made up of six communities: Njembe I, Njembe II, Kisensero, Nyakahita, Kabingo, and Rwobuhungye. Four of these communities never had access to safe water. However, in 1988, UNICEF constructed a piped system that provided water to the other two communities. Residents from all of the communities walked long distances to access this water.
The system was designed to last 25 years so in 2015, it began to falter with breakdown after breakdown. By that time, the 18 original taps had dwindled to only three working taps. A year later, the system no longer provided any water at all, leaving the taps as mere remnants of better days.
All of the communities returned to using what natural sources were available to them. This left them at the mercy of ponds and hand-dug wells. These sources were open to the surface, exposing them to rain which stirred up sediment and turned the water brown. The ponds were also filled with live organism like tadpoles that had to be strained before the water could be used. These conditions made the water rife with contamination.
As a result, the community members suffered from waterborne illnesses. Consuming the watercaused dysentery and diarrhea. The residents contracted worms and parasites. Being around the shallow, open sources exposed them to mosquitoes that spread malaria. These illnesses stole the community members’ time, health, and personal finances. Furthermore, since the communities were primarily agricultural, the scarcity of water caused the parish as a whole to struggle economically.
Leaders within the parish reached out to the government for help, but the government did not have enough resources to repair the old water system or construct a new one. However, the district and the county board were aware of the work that Living Water International was doing in Uganda. They reached out to Living Water Uganda for help in solving this water crisis. The Living Water staff was eager to assist.
They assessed the parish and found that the communities were in dire need of water. After surveying the topography, environmental impact, and community buy-in, Living Water Uganda determined that a complex watersystem could be constructed to serve the parish.
Ingomar Living Waters, your support made it possible for the Living Water staff to begin work on this water system. The staff led the community in excavating the existing pipe system, covering over 12.7 kilometers (7.9 miles). Trenches were dug, new pipe was laid and then back filled. The Living Water staff also constructed a concrete water tank. Community members contributed aggregate and bricks for tap stands. Living Water Uganda then constructed 36 taps stands throughout the parish. The staff tested the water which proved to be safe for drinking. Finally, the tap stands were complete, and water flowed throughout the parish because of your generosity!
SUSTAINABILITY The community members were eager to ensure that their well remains a viable resource in the future. To that end, Living Water Uganda helped the community members create a water committee for each of the 36 tap stands. The members of these committees were selected by their fellow community members to oversee the governance of the tap stands. They were trained in methods of sustainability by Living Water International. The water committees were also authorized by their communities to collect small, agreed-upon fees for water usage. These water committees will be overseen by a water board. This board is comprised of government officials, health institution leaders, church leaders, and school leaders. The Living Water staff will stay in contact with the water board and the committees to monitor the functionality of the new water system.
TESTIMONIAL “Before this water system, we had been fetching water from the valley. It was very difficult at my 95 years of age to carry water so sometimes I would stay here in my house without any water. In addition, the water we got from the ponds contained young frogs, and the water would turn brown whenever it rained. I remember sleeping hungry because I did not have energy to move to the valley to fetch water. The following day, someone brought me water. Everyone in this community now has safe water. No more fetching from ponds.”— Verontina Tibera, 95-year-old elder
SANITATION AND HYGIENE With safe water available throughout the parish, the community members were ready to learn how they could use your gift to improve their health. The Living Water staff implemented several initiatives to this end. They held sanitation and hygiene training sessions in all of the communities. These trainings were comprised of a series of interactive lessons that equipped a total of 295 people with a better understanding of how to improve their personal health and their community’s well being. The staff helped the community members understand the importance of hand washing. They demonstrated proper hand washing and gave the community members a chance to practice this skill. The participants also learned how to make hand washing devices out of plastic jugs and soap on a rope. This led to a discussion about the differences between good hygiene and bad hygiene. The staff showed the community how to keep the water safe during transportation and storage. Living Water also emphasized the importance of using latrines, which ultimately prompted residents to construct 85 latrines. The staff repeated many of these lessons at area schools where a total of 609 students attended the trainings. The students learned a few additional lessons. This included how to properly care for the water source to help ensure the water remains safe. The students also compared and contrasted the differences between healthy and unhealthy communities. They then learned how to keep their school clean. The students were guided by the Living Water staff to set up health clubs at their schools. The clubs were made up of a total of 30 students. The students will conduct hygiene demonstrations at school assemblies and in their communities. They will also help monitor school cleanliness.
IN JESUS’ NAME Your gift of a complex water system also provided the Living Water staff an opportunity to share the living water of Christ with the parish. This occurred through multiple evangelism sessions held in the communities. The staff presented the gospel through a method called Bible storying. This interactive gospel sharing techniques makes the Bible come alive to oral preference learners through the use of narration, repetition, memorization, and question and response. This enabled a total of 1,579 people to experience the gospel in a new, engaging way. Additionally, the Living Water staff trained local churches to lead their communities ins ustainable water access as well as improved sanitation and hygiene practices. To accomplish this, Living Water Uganda held a meeting that was attended by 48 church leaders. The staff helped the leaders understand the importance of ministering to the entire person, supporting an increase in both physical and spiritual health. The church leaders learned techniques for construction, proper use and management of latrines, safe water transportation, as well as the storage and treatment of waste. By learning these important lessons and skills, the church leaders were better equipped to teach their church bodies and improve the overall wellbeing of thecommunities. They learned that leading the way in the areas of water access, sanitation, and hygiene was a way to demonstrate the gospel.
YOUR IMPACT Ingomar Living Waters, you provided safe water to the Kigunga parish, changing the lives of over 5,700 people! Because of you, the water crisis has ended for the Njembe I, Njembe II, Kisensero, Nyakahita, Kabingo, and Rwobuhungye communities. They no longer need to rely on ponds for water that will only make them sick. Instead, they will be able to draw safe water from the 36 taps conveniently placed throughout the parish. Equipped with the training they need, the community members will be able to sustain this water source and use it to improve their health. Additionally, you empowered the local Church as, through your gift, the love of God poured out upon the residents of the parish, reminding them that God is concerned with every aspect of who they are. All of this was possible because of your generosity! Thank you for giving water, for life, in Jesus’ name to the Kigunga parish.