“ I can save lives one by one with my surgery, you save many more by your provision of clean water “ said a Doctor to one of our team on a recent visitGoing to see one of the new wells is a special experience as the local people will tell you with much joy and celebration what a massive difference clean, readily available water makes to their lives. Some of the many benefits felt in the community after the provision of clean water are:
- The significant reduction in water bourne disease and a consequent improvement in health.
- Improved hygiene as clean water is available for showering and washing clothes.
- A big improvement in life and safety for women and children as they no longer spend many hours walking long distances looking for water.
- Reduced family conflict over water
- Kick-starting of other income improvement projects such as vegetable growing, citrus trees, brick making and bee keeping. Water is also available for livestock.
- Communities long term commitment to the wells maintenance and repair.
- Endorsement of the quality of the wells by local authority inspections.
The detailed local statistics show that access to safe water is good in parts due to investment by the government and NGOs however 25% of the community ( 300,000 people), particularly those in more remote or hard to reach locations, still lack safe water so there is a need for significant further investment.
The story so far
For 25 years now, the trust has worked with our Church partners on a programme of water provision targeted at the rural areas and seeking to get clean water into the more remote areas. Following discussions and visits to Teso in 2000 the Trust piloted some water schemes. With a hiatus in 2003 – 2004 due to the LRA incursion, we have steadily built the programme up and over the last 3 years the average annual spending to support the provision of water has been £26,100 benefitting around 11,000 people every year.
How do we do it?
Each project is planned by one of our partner church development teams working closely with the village pastor, community leaders and people. These identify a site, mobilise the community, undertake hygiene training and set up an action committee to oversee the work. The local authority provide technical support on hydrology and guidance on the best locations and what type of water point will be appropriate. In areas where the water table is high is possible to dig a well, however in drier areas where the water table is much deeper it becomes necessary to have a borehole.
Once this process is done, the Trust will be approached to fund the training and provision of the pump and fittings. The local community provide materials for lining the shaft and concreting in the pump. Once the pump is installed, it is tested and handed over to the local management committee to manage the ongoing care and maintenance. The Church partners monitor the result and assist with any problems.
The Trust monitors progress and spending through receipt of regular reports from the partners which include photos and schedules of progress. Our funders are supplied with photos of their projects and we have installed plaques of the donor on some. On the Trusts annual visit members seek to visit as many as is feasible, to meet the community and join in the joy of the result! Sometimes when the village community has completed its water source, it continues its joint effort to address other community challenges. Results have been health initiatives and new farming schemes.
How do we fund the projects?
A borehole costs £6000, refurbishing a borehole usually costs about £1000, protecting a spring £1200 and a hand dug well is £1500. £250 of this pays for development and training costs. One project typically provides water for 300-400 people.
Over the years, we have had generous funding from:
Trusts notably the Ferguson Trust, Drinking Fountain Association, Rathbone Trust and Wilmslow Wells for Africa
If you feel you can sponsor a project and make a huge difference to the life of a Teso village, contact us.
Stories from our water projects: