Safe water

  •  November 29, 2022
  • By: Evan MacAlpine
Women and children line up at an outdoor water pump.
Funding required: $69,830

Beneficiaries: 18,500 children and community members

Completion date: October 2023

Country: Uganda

Executive summary

Jerusalem Child and Youth Development Centre is a new Compassion church partner in Kakoni, Uganda, that is struggling to provide for the needs of their beneficiary children without access to a reliable water supply system. Without a safe place to wash their hands or drink clean water, kids attending program days are at high risk of contracting diseases.

Between January and July 2022, UG1004 recorded 16 cases of typhoid, three skin infections and six stomach illnesses—all of which could have been prevented with access to clean water and good hygiene habits. Medical bills from such waterborne illnesses take their toll on the church’s limited funds, which could be used for other program activities. And when children fall sick, they miss school and centre days, greatly affecting their ability to learn and progress. Like most rural communities in Uganda, the burden of fetching water lies on the women and children, both of whom are at great risk of harm during their daily journeys. Each month, the church uses a big part of its budget to hire motorcycles to fetch clean water. However, transportation is unreliable and leads to delays in meal preparation for the children on program days. Often, children are too hungry to concentrate.

With Compassion’s desire to ensure that every child is known, loved and protected, the provision of safe water is critical to uphold and pursue holistic development for each boy and girl. Even when the local church has tried to empower households with improved hygiene and sanitation practices to combat the influx of waterborne illnesses, their efforts have been thwarted because daily access to clean water is a critical component of improved hygiene. Without safe water, children cannot thrive.

This intervention will provide the life-changing gift of safe drinking water for thousands of families in Uganda. Our frontline church partner in Kakoni plans to install a motorized borehole and piped water system so they can improve sanitation and hygiene for families, reduce the occurrence of waterborne illnesses and more effectively pursue holistic development for each child. This borehole with solar-powered water pump will serve the surrounding three communities of Kakoni A, Kakoni B and Kihumuro with more than 14 public access points. Building a sustainable safe water supply system alongside practical hygiene education will facilitate effective personal hygiene practices—protecting children from painful recurrent illnesses so they can grow up strong, healthy and hope-filled.

Summary

Did you know

Diarrhea—usually contracted from unsafe drinking water or unwashed hands—is one of three leading causes of death for children in Uganda, taking 33 lives every day. Diarrhea also contributes to Uganda’s high levels of childhood stunting, affecting children’s cognitive development, school performance and high dropout rate, especially for girls.

Background

Established in 2019, Jerusalem Child and Youth Development Centre currently serves 273 children in Kakoni, Uganda, without access to the national water grid. In a community of peasant farmers with a high influx of refugees, unemployment is high and caregivers often can’t provide the daily necessities for their little ones.

Since its inception, the church has grappled with the challenge of reliable clean water access. But with impoverished farmers and refugees already struggling to make ends meet, raising community funds to install a water system is just not possible. In the meantime, the children’s growing bodies are continuously ravaged by preventable diseases as they miss out on school and Compassion program days, falling further behind and further entrenched in poverty.

The local church is hopeful that once a water supply system is installed, they can help improve water and sanitation hygiene for all beneficiaries, their households and the entire surrounding community of 18,500 people. The church has carefully planned each stage of the intervention; now all they need is the funding to make it a reality.

The need

Water and sanitation hygiene are fundamental human rights—and children growing up in Kakoni, Uganda, desperately need proper sanitation facilities so they can survive childhood. But clean water alone doesn’t fix the problem; it must be paired with hygiene education, which leads to new hygiene habits. Clean water plus healthy hygiene habits are a winning combination in battling childhood disease and empowering children to grow up strong and healthy.

Your investment will see the installation of a motorized, solar-powered borehole and piped water system that will serve the local Compassion centre in Kakoni, Uganda, and 18,500 members of the surrounding communities. The church partner committee will hire a qualified water resource contractor to conduct a hydrogeological survey to determine the best drilling point and to construct the piped water system. The system will include an overhead tank, pump and solar panels and a six-kilometre distribution line with at least 14 public access points for community members. Community members will help with the excavation of trenches and pipe laying. Centre staff will train children and community members in good sanitation and hygiene practices. This solution will transform an entire community by addressing one of their most pressing physical needs.

What your gift will do

Your gift will build a motorized borehole and safe water supply system to improve water and sanitation hygiene for an entire community in Kakoni, Uganda:

  • Hydrogeological survey
  • Mobilization of all plants, materials, equipment and personnel
  • Drilling of new high-yield boreholes
    • Well development, pump testing and gravel packing
  • Submersible solar water pump assembly with pump controller capable of 3,000 litres/hour
  • PV high-efficiency 2,500-watt solar panels and lockable steel frames
  • CU 200 control unit
  • PV surge arrestors, earthing system and lightning-arrestor system
  • Special waterproof drop cable, cable joint kits and armored cable core
  • Plumbing fittings, nylon security rope, tread tapes and piping to overhead tank
  • Pipes, adaptor sets, distribution pipework and fittings
  • Excavation and backfilling
  • 10,000-litre overhead tank and steel stand with fittings, pipes and valves
  • Steel cover plate and concrete work
  • Control room
  • Transportation and labour
  • Taps and tap stands at community access points
  • Technical supervision
  • Sanitation and hygiene training

Logistics

  • Local contribution: US$2,047.28
  • Handling of funds: Compassion Uganda will distribute funds and ensure this intervention remains within budget.
  • Monitoring and follow-up: The church partner committee will supervise the construction of the piped water system and a designated operator will oversee the system’s functionality. The district water officer will support the entire intervention process to ensure good quality work and value of funds, according to the Ministry of Water and Environment’s guidelines for natural water resources. Compassion’s church partner will collaborate with water user committees made up of caregivers and community members to ensure the proper operation and maintenance of the water system so it can serve the community for years to come.