Earlier this year, before the COVID-19 pandemic had been making inroads into sub-Saharan African countries such as Uganda, Bread and Water for Africa® agreed to support construction of 15 of our partner there, Bega Kwa Bega’s (BkB), water protection projects.
The projects were expected to ensure safe, clean water for drinking, cooking, washing, and bathing for 3,000 Ugandans from 15 surrounding villages at the cost of about $1,000 each by constructing concrete barriers at spring sites to prevent contamination by humans and livestock.
In his request for funding, BkB program manager Ssagala David explained that the water protection project is necessary to protect the health of the residents of the villages through increased sanitation and hygiene made possible through access to uncontaminated water.
“The available community water sources are not safe, not clean, and not enough for the villages,” he told us. “Water is the most pressing need in these communities and is their first request.”
While due to the pandemic the project had to be put on hold this summer, we are pleased to report that now the projects have resumed with the most recent completed one being in the village of Kyangoma in central Uganda.
“The spring provides water for more than 55 houses, a primary school with 310 children, two health centers, and a church,” said BkB administrator Mary Musubika, adding that the water is also created a source of income for members of the community who use it for molding bricks.
“Before protection, it was an open water source shared by both humans and animals such as cows and goats,” she said. “It had been contaminated with the refuse from the runoff rainwater, dirt from the clothes washed near the spring and children could bathe in the water.
“The community members are so grateful now that they have access to a free, clean, safe, and reliable water source which minimizes waterborne illnesses, hence improving hygiene and sanitation.”
We at Bread and Water for Africa® are very grateful for your continued support.
Thank You! Asante Sana!
The city of Harbu in rural Ethiopia is home to nearly 190,000 residents who survive by growing what they can — such as rice beans, peas and lentils — on their half hectare (about 1.2 acres) tract of land. Many also raise livestock including cattle, sheep, goats, camels, donkeys, horses and mules.
Some 100,000 of these residents in the area rely on the Harbu Clinic, established by the Ethiopian government in 2001, each year for all their healthcare needs, which includes treatment for many easily preventable waterborne diseases.
The clinic itself lacks the basic and essential infrastructure to treat its patients — and that includes access to safe, clean water in the arid and drought-prone region of the country.
“The limited availability of a clean water supply is a major problem facing the clinic,” we were informed by the clinic administrator.
“Currently, the clinic is supplied water from the municipal water supply system. This water source does not provide reliable water to the clinic staff and patients.”
The quality of the water is also a major concern with most samples tested showed contamination due to intermittent operation and inadequate protection of the source of the water.
“Given the present COVID-19 pandemic, the lack of access to water and hygiene puts the clinic and the larger community at risk if the deadly coronavirus reaches the community,” he said.
This month, Bread and Water for Africa® is undertaking a campaign to raise the $11,000 necessary to construct a well to serve the clinic and members of the community in its immediate vicinity. Our goal is to improve the severe shortage of clean water while also minimizing the risk of the spreading of the deadly virus.
Already, we have been working with the clinic administrator and a contractor who is able to drill a 114-foot-deep well on the clinic grounds. It is estimated to produce nearly a gallon per second, which would be more than sufficient to meet the clinic’s and the community’s needs.
Once the well is completed it will be transferred to the clinic administration to ensure its safety, sustainability and maintenance including periodic servicing of the pumping system and the undertaking of any repairs that may be necessary.
At Bread and Water for Africa® we have seen firsthand many times how much a well for a community improves not just the quality of the water for residents, but their overall quality of life, and we are counting on our supporters to enable us to achieve our goal of a well for Harbu this summer.
For over 25 years, we at Bread and Water for Africa® are keenly aware of the need for clean water for children and families in sub-Saharan Africa where entire communities risk serious illness, and even death, drinking water from contaminated sources.
That’s why since 1995 we have been digging wells and running pipelines in places like Abomvomba, Cameroon, Bo, in Sierra Leone, Kericho, Kenya,
Kaweza Community, Zambia, Manica province, Mozambique, and most recently Shinebeles, Ethiopia. We are also in the midst of a multi-year campaign to protect natural springs in Uganda from human and animal contamination.
Now with deadly coronavirus beginning to spread through the continent, thanks to supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® tens of thousands of Africans in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Malawi, and Zimbabwe have all the clean water they need to wash their hands frequently.
In Bo, where our partner in the country, Rev. Francis Mambu, executive director of Faith Healing Development Organization, informed us in 2014 that the community lacked safe drinking water and most residents were getting their water from ponds and unprotected well we took action.
We constructed the well on the grounds of a clinic operated by FHDO to not only to have a safe water source for the patients and medical staff, but also the greater community of 8,000 who where educated on the importance of clean water and protection of their source of water.
Whenever we have dug a well, we always choose a site such as a school, clinic, or community center where all residents have access to all the water they need for drinking, cooking, bathing and washing their hands.
In Uganda, Bega kwa Bega, or newest partner has been protecting springs with a concrete barrier at a cost of about $1,000 and our goal of completing 125 projects over the course of the next five years.
Each protected site will benefit 50 families representing and estimated 250 people with all the safe, the water they will need for some 20 years.
Water is life, and especially now in these times of a global pandemic, is critical to the health and wellbeing of those who have no choice but to drink unsafe water from unprotected streams and unable to wash their hands with clean water.