BUKOLI, TANZANIA

IN PROGRESS

STATUS

people impacted

dollars funded

FUNDED APRIL 24, 2024

People gather at the river to draw water.

 CURRENT CONDITIONS

The Parish of the Holy Martyrs of Uganda Catholic Church is located in Bukoli, which is part of the Geita Region and a subdivision of the Geita District in Tanzania.  The parish opened St. Anatoli’s Catholic School in 2020.  The local government has authorized the school for 350 students, of which 50 may stay as boarding students.  However, due to inadequate water supply, the school can only accommodate 42 day-students and 3 boarding students.

The people of Bukoli live in severe poverty.  Family income is mostly derived from very small-scale agriculture, such as growing crops and raising livestock to sell.  These poverty levels also cause children to be orphaned and homeless.  [Some of] these abandoned children are accepted as boarding students at St. Anatoli’s.  If there were a clean water well source for the school, more children would have a safe place to learn and live.

Bukoli family wash & fetch water at stream

There are two seasons in Tanzania: a rainy season (November-April) and a dry season (May-October.)  During the rainy season, people have more access to water.  There are three common methods of water collection: hand-dug wells, natural water sources, and rain gutter collection. Hand-dug wells are inexpensive and therefore most popular.  However, they are primitive wells that are shallow, thus making them susceptible to contamination and drying up.  There are two main natural water sources in Bukoli.  The first is a narrow, winding, shallow river.  The second is a river located several kilometers away, not much deeper or wider, and very crowded during peak times.  Both of these rivers almost  completely dry up during the dry season.  The third method, rain gutter collection, is the least common since it is very expensive to buy gutters and a plastic tank to store the water.  The water from all of these sources is not safe to drink and will be depleted during the dry season.  And the lack of rain presents another problem.  Wild animals, such as lions, elephants, dogs, etc., also compete for water, which makes it even more dangerous for the women and children who are tasked to fetch water.

During the dry season, these people suffer even more!  Since Bukoli has no safe, clean, and reliable water source, the local healthcare providers are treating many illnesses which are directly related to the use of contaminated water.  St. Mathias Mucumba Dispensary, located on the parish property, reports about 200-300 patients per month according to lab technician, Jescar Daniel.  She has listed the top ten waterborne diseases as: typhoid fever, cholera, giardiasis, schistosomiasis, dysentery, hepatitis A, ascariasis,  amoebiasis, diarrhea, and E. coli.  Dr. Willimina Josephat who works at the Catholic-run dispensary and at the nearby government-run facility, Bukoli Health Centre, concurs with the above-listed illnesses. She examines between 3000-5000 patients per month.  She also sees about 120-200 women each month to deliver their babies.  Due to the shortage of water at the health center, women coming to give birth must provide their own bucket of water!  Dr. Josephat provided the following report for 2023 waterborne diseases.

2023 Waterborne Diseases

Girl takes clothes to wash in river Bukoli

Girl with water and clothes

OUR EXPERIENCE

To help the people of the Geita Region have clean water, the Bishop of Geita, Bishop Flavian Kassala, decided to purchase a borehole driller and compressor.  He had several meetings with knowledgeable businessmen who were experienced in the area of water well installations.  One of these men donated a PQWT computer surveying machine.  He also provided training for using the computer and how to read the surveys.  Father David Majala and Father Gerald Singu are the priests who manage the water well projects.  They began their water well projects in the diocese about two years ago.

This water well management team is responsible for surveying the land, purchasing the necessary materials, and supervising the four-man team that operates the drilling equipment and installs the materials.  As of February 2024, they have completed eight water wells successfully.  All eight wells are functional and still in operation.  In addition, Father Fortunatus Mazunge, pastor of the Bukoli Parish, has established a water committee comprised of six parishioners and one community representative.  Both water project teams work together to ensure the best possible outcome, ownership of the project, and the future maintenance of the water project.

Established internal controls and verification will ensure that the funds go directly to the project and are not used for personal use or “overhead.”  Specifically, the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Office of the Missions Department, will verify the validity of the Bukoli Water Project independently, through email communication with Bishop Kassala in Geita.  Once the project has been verified and approved for funding, the Pittsburgh Diocese will receive and process Ingomar Living Waters’s check, and then send the money through their usual international channels to the Geita Diocese.

Starting the long walk to fetch water

Boys carry water home

Woman fetching water in Bukoli

Poop on the river bank

FUTURE MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS

As stated above, Father Fortunatus, pastor of the Bukoli parish, has established a water committee.  The committee will involve the community in the water well project by educating them in water hygiene and proper water well use and maintenance.  They will ask all people for “Free Will” donations to create a maintenance fund.

CHRISTIAN DISCIPLESHIP

Bishop Kassala stated that the purpose of the water well projects was not merely to bring the necessity of clean water but also to provide a place for community gathering.  The people realize that the water well is on the Catholic parish property, and they know that they are welcome.  This brings people together regardless of their faith beliefs.

The Parish of the Holy Martyrs of Uganda originated in an established Muslim community but has grown into a place for community gatherings.  The Bukoli community’s large Arab Muslim population often send their children to the Catholic school.  Thus, the water well will foster a continuing positive experience where the people feel free and safe to gather together.

FUTURE BUKOLI WELL SITE

PROJECT DETAILS AND TIMELINE

Project Scope: Deep borehole well with electric pump, solar panels, storage tanks, water distribution system, and hygiene training

Total Project Cost:  $15,332   

Cost Break Down:

  • Materials:  $7,212   
  • Labor:         $8,120

Additional Funding: The parish will collect the balance of the total cost.

Future Maintenance:  The parish will take a collection periodically.

Date Funding Required:  May 1, 2024

Estimated Project Start Date:  May 13, 2024

Estimated Project Completion Date: May 31, 2024

Women fetching water at the river 

YOUR IMPACT

The Bukoli Catchment Area Report shows that the average number of monthly cases of waterborne illnesses from January – December 2023 is 731 patients, or about 24%.  The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that diarrhea due to contaminated water is the 4th leading cause of death in Tanzania.

The Diocese of Geita is initiating a team to educate the people on what causes waterborne diseases, how germs are spread, and ways to reduce the diseases after the fresh water is acquired.  The diocese will use a proven curriculum developed by a non-profit organization based in Kenya, Hydrating Humanity, focusing on drilling clean water wells and hygiene education.  Their statistics show that waterborne diseases are reduced only by up to 15% after clean water is provided.  However, evidence shows that clean water along with hygiene education produces results of disease reduction up to 75%!

www.hydratinghumanity.org

The Bukoli parish had its first water hygiene training in February 2024.  The people were very happy to gain this knowledge.  The group was very responsive and interactive in the discussions.

The impact of providing a clean water source that will be located in a safe environment extends far beyond the statistical reduction of waterborne diseases.  Women and young girls will no longer have to rise very early in the morning, leaving their families and missing out on school to travel long distances to fetch water.  For the first time, they have hope for their futures.

Interview with a Bukoli woman who is asking for a well

 Family fetching river water in Bukoli

All projects are made possible by World Changers.