Blessed Secondary School is located in Kigorobya Village in Uganda. There are 300 students and 100 additional households, for roughly 800 – 1,000 individuals. The proposed borehole well and hand pump will be able to serve about 1,000 people each day.
There is no clean water accessible to this community. The school gets its water from open ponds that are fed [by] runoff from the nearby bush and fields. These ponds are full of tadpoles, frogs and snakes, as well as [being] breeding grounds for the bacteria and parasites that cause illnesses like Typhoid, Cholera and other water-born illnesses. These deeper ponds also pose a drowning risk.
The ponds are deep, and the wood can become slippery. Children fall in and either can’t get themselves back out, or hit their heads and drown. Every village with this type of water source has at least one story of a child dying this way.
The children often do not boil the water either, and so are even more susceptible to getting sick. This means that children are often absent from school, and if they miss their exams at the end of a term they are more likely to drop out [than] they are to continue their education. And each time a child gets sick, their family will spend all of their savings on medicine and doctor visits. Many families report that illnesses like typhoid have hit every member of the family at least once in the last year. Some families report that it’s closer to every member needing medical intervention 3-4 times a year. It is difficult to break out of a subsistence lifestyle when the very thing that is sustaining your life is costing you everything through illness. But they will tell you that contaminated water is better than no water at all.
CEED has been drilling in Uganda for nearly 20 years. The first well was drilled using the percussion method. One of our donors saw the process and donated 2 mobile drills for our use. We now also have a big rig for use in areas where we encounter rock layers or other obstacles that the smaller drills cannot overcome. The team is Ugandan staffed and led through the efforts of Herbert Asiimwe the Director of CEED Uganda. Herbert has been leading these drilling teams for over 15 years and most of our drillers have over a decade of experience each. Herbert is also a licensed CPA [so] the bookkeeping is kept to the highest standards and oversight is done in the US office by both Kate and the CEED board.
They are our exclusive drilling team in Uganda. Each well is funded individually and [funding] goes directly to the cost of running the drill and salaries for the teams on the ground. After all the workman is worth their wages, and one of CEED’s goals has always been to ensure that those working for us can support their families through the work they do.
We also make sure that we are running our equipment responsibly. A part of each well’s cost goes directly into maintenance and small repairs to keep things running smoothly. The funding for future repairs and maintenance is a two-part process. When the village, or school in this case, 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 school, village, etc. 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. This process works and it grew out of many years of experience in Uganda. Without this process the village does not take full ownership of the well and before we implemented it we found that wells would break from small fixable issues but they wouldn’t contact us because it ‘wasn’t their well’. The committee and the water fund solved this issue.
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.
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.
Schools that have water sources are considered ‘Blessed’ and will see a massive uptick in attendance. This well is also going to be serving a primary school and a church. Education is often the best way to elevate a family from poverty, so placing water near these schools will impact these families and communities for years into the future.
The impact of clean water also has a ripple effect on the community. Parents currently spend much of their income on medical treatment for water-born illnesses, and occasionally animal bites and other injuries. When the well is drilled and the village can safely access clean water, the villagers will be able to use their income for other things like more seeds for crops, bricks for new buildings, and even new plots of land to grow food on. One well truly does change everything for a village.
PROJECT COSTS AND TIMELINE
Total Project Cost: $5,000
Cost break out:
Future maintenance: The villagers collect a penny or two a month from each household to keep for maintenance. This system ensures that the well is fully adopted by the village and cared for.
Other Costs: If we hit rock, the well will need to be drilled by the big rig, though it is unlikely to be an issue in this area.
Funding for Other Costs: Each project is directly funded. We only bring in outside funding sources in case of a dry well, or a larger project that we know going in will require more heavy-duty equipment. This well will require neither as we know the water table in the area is good.
Funding Requested from ILW: $5000
Date Funding Required: As soon as possible
Estimated Project Start Date: Within 2-3 weeks of funding date
Estimated Project Completion Date: Within 2-3 months of funding date
The well has been drilled successfully! Below are photos of the students and their families, witnessing the first water flow. Additional photos will be sent once the dedication ceremony is held, but the people are enjoying clean water now, right in their village.
The final location of the well shifted a little. It’s on the other side of the school, and the measurement is more accurate now. But the well is still located at Blessed Secondary School.
All projects are made possible by World Changers.