Nyakatete Village, in Nyakatete Parish, is located in Kijangi SubCounty, Kakumiro District in Uganda. There are 160 households living in Nyaketete, roughly 1100 people. Yet there is no clean water within easy walking distance of the village.
The closest water sources to Nyakatete are open ponds right next to the village. These open ponds are fed from the bush around them, as well as from the fields, so they are contaminated by the animal and human waste that you will find in these areas. The water is shared with domestic animals like pigs and cows. The ponds also attract birds, frogs, and snakes. These animals contribute to water contamination. The water in these ponds is filled with the bacteria strains that cause typhoid, diphtheria, and other intestinal illnesses.
In addition to the bacterial contaminates, the water also has been contaminated by chemical pesticides and fertilizers from gardens attached to some of the surrounding homes. Sometimes you will find larger homes, or plantations, that grow commercial gardens. They tend to import their water and don’t have to walk to the ponds, so they either aren’t aware, or potentially not concerned that the villages downstream of their homes are being negatively impacted by their actions.
As is often the case with these villages, the lack of clean water leads to pervasive illness. Children, the elderly and pregnant women suffer the most with elevated death tolls due to dehydration and the physical damage of persistent fevers. Medicine for Typhoid is incredibly expensive, it takes about a day’s wages for a single dose. And that’s in addition to the cost of transportation to the medical clinics. Money that could be used for tuition, tools, seed for crops, or even food to feed their families. So clean water changes the trajectory of the whole village.
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, and the bookkeeping is kept to the highest standards, with oversight done in the US office by both Kate and the CEED board. Herbert’s team are are our exclusive drilling team in Uganda. Each well is funded individually and 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 CEEDs goals has always been to ensure that those working for us can support their families through their work. 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.
WELL MAINTENANCE & REPAIRS
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. This process works and it grew out of many years of experience in Uganda. Without this process, we learned, the villagers do 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. But even in villages where there isn’t more than a local congregation, 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 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.
PROJECT COSTS AND TIMELINE
Total Project Cost: $5,000 for a borehole well and hand pump.
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. That may cost more, but we will likely match funding from another source.
Other Funding: Each project is directly funded. We only bring in outside funding sources in the case of a dry well or a larger project that we know 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
In 2020 CEED took the opportunity to survey 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.
In this village that also means that the villagers will no longer be exposed to harmful chemicals in the groundwater. So in addition to a drop in the typical illnesses, they won’t be at risk of the long-term harms that we in the West know come from exposure to these types of chemicals.
The poverty cycle will be broken because of the drop in illness rates. Parents will be healthy enough to work, and without having to spend money on medicine, they will have enough money to feed their families, pay for tuition and schoolbooks, buy better seeds, and build better housing.
The churches in town will grow because of the clean water. The school will see an increase in attendance, and even in boarders, since families will want to send their children to the place where the miracle of clean water has been found.
All projects are made possible by World Changers.