Over 100 wells have been funded by TDT in the past decade, bringing safe drinking water to tens of thousands of people.
‘Water is Life’. That is a phrase that is heard many times in countries where safe, clean water is not always available. In Teso there has been a very determined effort to bring quality water supplies through shallow wells, boreholes and protecting the natural springs. The aim is that no one should have to walk more than 1Km to get safe water. (Much further than the few meters people need to walk in the UK to get to the tap!) However, there are still many communities that has no safe water supply within 5Km. In such cases water is often collected from local streams or pools, resulting in many health problems.
TDT has been working hard over the past decade to bring clean water to as many communities as possible, in partnership with the Church of Uganda and the Pentecostal Assemblies of God development departments. In 2014 we completed our 100water project, bringing safe water close enough for 1000’s of people to collect easily. But, there is still much work to be done!
Building a well….
The Church is closely involved with the village communities through their network of congregations and local pastors. These will arrange community meetings with input from the Church development team. A location for a well will be identified which will be evaluated with advice from the Local Authority water officer. An assessment will be made of its likely yield. The community discussions include training in hygiene, the process of setting it up and details of its ongoing management including the appointment of a committee, a well keeper and identification of a technician to maintain it.
The well is then dug using labour from the community, who also provide gravel and blocks for lining the shaft. TDT pays for the pump and shaft. If a borehole is needed, the shaft is dug with a drilling rig and completed by the contractor.
On completion of the project and after technical testing, the well or borehole is handed over to the community to manage and maintain.
Visits often reveal that the community had been using either water from a water hole shared with cattle, or lake water through lack of any alternative supply. The effect of drinking and using this polluted water can only be imagined!!
The results of having clean water from community visits by TDT have been:
a significant improvement in health resulting from the water projects, with a sharp decline in diseases such as Diarrhoea, Typhoid and worms, In particular, children’s health improves
The need for women or children to go long distances to collect water is also eliminated
The kick-starting of other income improvement projects in the village eg goat rearing, citrus and bee keeping arising from the communities’ new ability to organise improvement projects
A vital support to other community health initiatives eg those addressing HIV/AIDs.