In the Mityana, Luwero, Kiboga, Nakaseke, Nakasongola, Mubenede, and other districts in Uganda, a year ago there was an estimated 3,000 people living in 15 villages who had no source of clean, safe water for all their daily needs, reported David Ssagala, manager of our partner in the country Bega kwa Bega (BkB).
Thanks to the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa®, during the past 12 months we have been able to provide the funding necessary for BkB to complete almost all of the spring water protection projects it had identified as being most critical.
As David explained when he approached Bread and Water for Africa® for grant funding to protect village streams from human and livestock contamination telling us “The available community water sources are not safe, not clean and not enough for the villagers.”
While the springs themselves provided a reliable source of groundwater for the nearby residents, because they were open the water was full of bacterial and fecal matter.
“Due to the openness of the water sources, they are shared with animals and also exposed to all kinds of pollution, hence resulting in the contamination of the water and causing waterborne diseases among the villagers,” he told us.
To address the issue BkB, developed an easily-replicated, and at $800 per spring, relatively affordable plan to enclose the springs in rock and cement with piping that provides a steady flow of unadulterated water.
“Water is the most pressing needs in these communities,” says David.
“A lot of time is wasted by mothers and girls who have to trek long distances in search of clean safe water,” he noted. “The personal hygiene and sanitation of these communities is also affected due to water shortages and scarcity.”
But BkB does not simply protect a spring and move on to the next project without first ensuring each protected spring has long-term sustainability by requiring that members of the community commit to participating in the supervision and monitoring of the protected spring, and, in effect, “take ownership” of the of the project for the good of the people.
In addition, David pointed out that “BkB has vast experience in spring protection. We have been doing this since 2002, and so far protected more than 220 springs that have impacted the lives of thousands, especially children.
David told us of one recently completed spring protection project located on the grounds of high school with a population of 200 students in the Mpigi District of the country which also provides water to about 60 families living in close proximity to the school.
“The residents conveyed their heartfelt gratitude and great appreciation to the sponsors for this goodwill gesture,” commented David. “The spring will go a long way in promoting good hygiene and sanitation, and reduce waterborne diseases, especially among children.
“A water use committee has been formed to ensure the spring is well maintained and will continue to provide them with clean and safe water for years to come.”
And to the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® who are helping make this all possible, David says:
“A million thanks and best wishes to our sponsors.”