Help Support Water Wells in Uganda

Help Support Water Wells in Uganda

For years, Bread and Water for Africa® has constructed water wells and supported clean water development projects to provide life’s most vital resource. That mission is now more important than ever as communities throughout Africa lack clean water sources to wash their hands and protect themselves against the pandemic we all face right now.

For the past several years, our newest partner in Uganda, Bega kwa Bega (BkB) has been working to protect springs in rural portions of the country, but due to lack of sufficient funding, they have only been able to protect about 10 springs each year, when the need is far greater.

Providing safe drinking water through a spring in Uganda

Bread and Water for Africa® is taking on the mission to partner with BkB to provide funding for 25 spring water protection sites this year and to continue that number at a rate of two or three per month for at least the next five years – 125 sites!

BkB is planning on protecting springs in six districts: Wakiso, Gomba, Butamblala, Mpigi, Mukono and Mubende with each site to serve about 50 families, representing an estimated 250 children, parents and elders – providing access to safe clean drinking water for up to 6,250 Uganda children, parents and elders where at present there is none.

Building a well to provide safe drinking water in Uganda

“The water is unhygienic because it is easily contaminated by urine and human waste, garbage and other materials,” reported Bega kwa Bega (BkB) (Shoulder to Shoulder) manager David Ssagala, Bread and Water for Africa® newest partner in the country.

In the central and western region of Uganda where BkB works, there are more than 200 villages where many residents risk illness, even death, drinking from these unprotected, polluted springs.

According to the World Health Organization, lack of clean water results in 115 deaths EVERY HOUR in sub-Saharan African countries such as Uganda.

Bacteria, viruses, parasites and pollution contaminate freshwater sources resulting in water scarcity which is a major problem even in areas where there is plenty of rainfall. A lack of clean water increases the risk of diarrheal diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever and dysentery, and other water-borne diseases.

“Water scarcity affects one in three people in the African Region and is getting worse with population growth, urbanization and increases in household and industrial uses,” states the WHO.

But it does not have to be that way, and that’s why a few years ago BkB developed a program to protect the springs from contamination by constructing a concrete water filtration system.

“Before the protection of the spring, community members used such water for all their home consumption,” explained David.

Among those who are benefiting today by a water protection project completed by BkB last year is 9-year-old Lydia who until a few months ago spent her days walking miles back and forth from an unprotected water source carrying a 5-gallon container on her head weighing about 40 pounds when she should have been in school.

Through BkB’s water spring protection project program, Lydia’s family, and dozens of others living nearby, now have a steady source of water nearby and do not need to wander far and wide to collect it from open, unprotected sources, according to David.

“The women and girls now do not have to walk long distances in search of safe water, thus minimizing the risks associated with long journeys,” he told us.

According to UNICEF, “collecting water is often a colossal waste of time for women and girls,” estimating that around the world they spend 200 million hours a day fetching water.

The United Nations estimates that in sub-Saharan African countries like Uganda, nearly 40 percent in rural areas improved drinking water sources are more than 30 minutes away. In some instances, girls can spend up to eight hours, round trip, every day to collect water for themselves and their families.

In addition, for girls such as Lydia who daily carry a significant percentage of their body weight in a container on their head, there is a significant risk on musculoskeletal disorders and related disabilities.

“The beneficiaries are always grateful because through spring protection, they are able to access safe and clean water – unlike before protection when they used to have to share these water sources with animals,” says David. “These water sources are used by many households, schools, health centers, churches, mosques and also for income generation.”

Children in Uganda get safe drinking water from a well

The cost to protect a single spring is $1,000, a small price to pay to provide 50 families with safe drinking water, amounting to about $83 a month for one year. Once completed, the life span of each protected spring is between 20 and 30 years.

And with the help of our generous and loyal supporters, in 2020 we will meet our goal of raising $15,000 to provide safe drinking water for 30 villages that will benefit thousands for years to come.

Amid the Global Pandemic, a 40-foot container of medical supplies reaches Sierra Leone

Amid the Global Pandemic, a 40-foot container of medical supplies reaches Sierra Leone

Although providing our partners with what they need has become more challenging since the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19), rest assured, Bread and Water for Africa® continues to do everything in our power to make sure basic needs are met in the African countries where we work.

Recently, we shipped a 40-foot container filled with prenatal vitamins, antibiotics, and analgesics in cooperation with our longtime partner, MAP International.

“These much needed medicines will be distributed to [hospitals and clinics serving] orphans, vulnerable children, persons with disabilities, the elderly and expectant mothers in seven health facilities in Freetown, Sierra Leone,” stated MAP International.

MAP International continued:

“Our partner Bread and Water for Africa, through the United Methodist Church will help us distribute these lifesaving [medicine as soon as the shipment arrives].

 

“For the two billion people who don’t have access to even basic medicines, ensuring our planned shipments of essential, life-changing medicines and health supplies is of utmost importance.

 

“Please continue to include all the most vulnerable people in your prayers as you keep your families and loved ones safe and secure. We will all weather this as best we can.”

 

We will all get through this together.

Bread and Water for Africa® thanks our supporters during this world-wide crisis

Bread and Water for Africa® thanks our supporters during this world-wide crisis

Over the past few weeks, all of us here at Bread and Water for Africa® have been amazed by the amount of support we have received from people like you. Your generosity not only inspires us, but gives hope to so many African families, especially children, in the midst of our current world-wide crisis.

By supporting us, you’re helping us to find solutions to the problems facing communities throughout Africa. These solutions include building water wells so that families have clean water to drink and are able wash their hands. It also means providing our partners with medicine and medical supplies.

Regarding medicine and medical supplies, last week, we shipped a 40-foot container filled with prenatal vitamins, antibiotics, and analgesics in cooperation with our longtime partner, MAP International.

“These much needed medicines will be distributed to [hospitals and clinics serving] orphans, vulnerable children, persons with disabilities, the elderly and expectant mothers in seven health facilities in Freetown, Sierra Leone,” stated MAP International.

 

“Our partner Bread and Water for Africa, through the United Methodist Church will help us distribute these lifesaving [medicine as soon as the shipment arrives].

 

“For the two billion people who don’t have access to even basic medicines, ensuring our planned shipments of essential, life-changing medicines and health supplies is of utmost importance.

 

“Please continue to include all the most vulnerable people in your prayers as you keep your families and loved ones safe and secure. We will all weather this as best we can.”

 

Although providing our partners with what they need has become more challenging, rest assured, we will continue to do everything in our power to make sure basic needs are met in the African countries where we work.

We will all get through this together.

Mokoba…. Saving lives One Village at a Time – Thank you!

Mokoba…. Saving lives One Village at a Time – Thank you!

(Pictured: Women and their children with nurses at the Mokoba Health Center)

Thanks to the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa®, some 5,600 Sierra Leoneans, including 2,200 boys and girls, received healthcare services at the newly-renovated Mokoba Health Center in the past few months alone. Last year, we called upon our supporters to help us raise the $5,500 necessary to fix the damage to the more than 20-year old building which had fallen into disrepair. There was fear that government authorities would close down the clinic, leaving the residents of the rural village of Mokoba with no healthcare services in the vicinity. But they came through, and as you can see in these photos the building is beautiful and looking as good as new.

Front view of the newly-renovated Mokoba Health Center in Sierra Leone funded by Bread and Water for Africa®

A child being tested for malaria at the Mokoba clinic.

Clinic manager Joseph Ngoniyela Kobba, right, addressed the nurses and members of the community at a recent re-dedication ceremony for the health center.

The residents of the village, particularly expecting women and mothers with young children, as well as the elderly, are especially grateful and relieved. Clinic manager Joseph Ngoniyela Kobba reported that with the rehabilitated clinic the health status of those in the village and surrounding communities has already showed remarkable improvement.

The rehabilitation of the Mokoba Health Center went on well because the community leaders coordinated the whole process including the work of youth and women to fetch water and provide bush sticks and movement of the rehabilitation materials for the contractor,” says Joseph. “Involving the Mokoba community and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in the project from the start, and facilitating their engagement enabled the rehabilitation of the health center to be carried out on time because both took responsibility for the process.

Although it practically goes without saying, Joseph noted that the “new” clinic has been received by the local community “very positively, particularly by women, community partners and the Government of Sierra Leone.” And as Joseph stated so eloquently:

A healthy rural community is a wealthy nation. Investing in women’s and children’s healthcare laid a better foundation for development and prosperity.

Caring for Those That Do Not Have Any Other Means : Abel Said THANK YOU!

Caring for Those That Do Not Have Any Other Means : Abel Said THANK YOU!

Abel is a poor farmer who lives in the Kailahun District in rural Sierra Leone.

Last fall, Abel noticed that his foot was starting to swell, but he initially ignored it believing he could not afford to seek medical treatment even as it continued to become more and more swollen.

“Because of his poor state, Abel was directed to native ‘doctors’ to whom he paid the little he had to cure his foot,” reported Rev. Francis Mambu, executive director of our longtime partner in the country, Faith Healing Development Organization (FHDO) which operates a health clinic in Sierra Leone about 20 miles from Abel’s village.

Needless to say his swollen foot did not return to its normal size, but luckily by happenstance he came across an old friend who had been treated for an illness and restored to health at FHDO’s clinic at Bunumbu.

“The friend warned him to avoid the native doctors and seek treatment from the clinic,” said Rev. Mambu. “In addition, he explained his own experience at the clinic, and because of his lack of money would he would not be expected to pay for the services provided.

“Abel became convinced that he would receive proper treatment for his ailment and decided to make the journey to the clinic,” said Rev. Mambu. “He was brought to the clinic by his brother on a motorbike.”

At the clinic, Abel was treated by an actual trained medical professional who correctly diagnosed the cause of his swollen foot and provided him with the proper medication.

“The treatment lasted for a couple of weeks,” reported Rev. Mambu. “Abel recovered fully and is now able to walk properly.

“Abel thanked all those at the clinic who helped him and promised them that any time any of his children are sick he will take them to the clinic for medical attention, instead of native doctors.”

And as for Abel himself:

“I want to thank the staff of the Bunumbu clinic and the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® for saving my life.

“I appreciate you all.”

Little girl in Uganda gets safe drinking water at well