Rugaaga Village is located in Igwanjura Parish, Kabwoya Subcountry, Kikuube District of Uganda. There are 210 households (1,050 people) in the village, plus the Bright Young Primary School and two churches.
Water access is very difficult here. The next closest borehole is 6 km away, so the current source is a pond in a swamp. Open ponds are always dangerous sources of water. Not only do they hold organisms that cause waterborne illnesses like Typhoid, but they also attract wild animals and snakes. The school children are in danger every time they go to retrieve water.
The three logs across the deep pond indicate danger of drowning.
Also, ponds with the three logs crossed over the edge are particularly dangerous. That means that this pond is deep, and the sides are steep. The logs are there to try to keep the children from drowning in the pond. Children in Uganda aren’t taught to swim; the water is dangerous for too many reasons.
How far the youngster much reach to fill the water can!
Waterborne illnesses like Typhoid and diarrhea are common with this kind of water source. The school is a boarding school, so if a kid gets one of these illnesses, they could be in the school’s infirmary for weeks. If they get sent home, there is a chance they will never come back to school. And since these are nursery and primary age children, their risk of dying from these illnesses is much higher than it would be for an adult.
Herbert Asiimwe oversees project management in Uganda, and has a decade of experience in the area. He is particularly skilled at choosing and working with the schools, churches, clinics, and villages that ultimately get the wells. He can choose locations where the well will be cared for long-term, ensuring clean water for years to come. The drilling teams report directly to Herbert, and Herbert reports directly to our board of directors here in the US. He adheres to very strict accounting procedures and Kate does the accounting and reporting on the US side. CEED has developed over 600 clean water sources and served over 750,000 people in the area.
The funding for future repairs and maintenance is a two-part process. When the village is chosen for a well, they sign a contract stating that they will do their best to set aside a few pennies per month to help cover the cost of future repairs. They can do this by selling surplus water to local farmers, or by having a collection. This method acts as a guarantee that the village will take ownership of the well. When something is wrong, they have the responsibility to reach out and let us know so the wells can be repaired in a timely manner.
In 2020 CEED took the opportunity to do a survey of 20 villages that have access to one of our wells. On average each village experienced a 70% reduction in illness across the board. Typhoid, Cholera, parasites, and water born illnesses dropped significantly. We do understand that there are, of course, other factors that play a part in community health, but it all must start with access to clean water.
A new well will end the current typhoid outbreak.
We always use our drilling opportunities as a disciple making outreach. We try to dig our wells near churches or schools, if possible. We also use the drilling itself as an outreach. One of our donors many years ago donated a solar powered projection system. During the drilling people come from miles around to watch the drilling while it is happening. While that is going on, the projection system is being charged. Then at night we set up the projector and play ‘The Jesus Film,’ a film about Jesus’s life, ministry, death and resurrection, in the local dialect of the area where the well is being drilled. Then when the well is completed, we add a plaque with the donor’s names and usually a verse telling the village why the water was gifted to them. The dedications are done by the local ministers of the church, turning even that event into a praise meeting.
All projects are made possible by World Changers.