Clean Water is Coming…
Back in September of 2018, we spent a week in Kintu, and had a chance to see the impact that our clean water system was bringing to the community. This was all a result of your relentless support.
At the Kaiho trading centre, we watched a water tap stand being formed for the first time and I could feel the excitement rising in the community as it was being constructed. This tap stand signified our teams’ hard work, your generosity, and the hope of a better life for many generations to come.
At the trading center, we met Michael, a volunteer from Kintu. He helped dig a trench leading to the soon-to-be-installed tap stand. Michael wore a spotless pink shirt and black pants, both pressed. Like most members of the community there, he seemed overdressed for the occasion. We watched as cement was mixed with clay, and bricks were laid on the ground to mark out the tap foundation.
The tap stand chairman, Bakora, came to greet us. He was a 60-year-old mzei and tried to teach us some Runyankore, the local language (we picked up “mzei,” which is the equivalent of “sir”).
He then went on to show us a barrel full of dirty rainwater, so dirty in fact that you could see worms swimming around! Bakora told me that this is what they’ve been drinking up until then. They distilled the water and then would boil it, but that never seemed to eliminate all the dirt or disease contained within. There was no doubt that water accessibility in Ugnada was an issue to be addressed. He then emphasized the impact clean water charity Kaiho for women will have on the community and said water from the tap stand “will help with work, especially the women”.
“They are very excited,” he says to us on behalf of the community.
As we walked further up the road, Maximiano, a tap stand chairman for the neighboring Kihangwe village, showed us the source of the water they were using before the new sustainable water system was placed.
We had walked a little ways down the road, through his banana plantation and into an open field where cattle were grazing. He lead us to the source; it was even worse than you could imagine. The water was filthy with a milky green hue. Cow patties were scattered about. Another old source up the road was no better than any roadside ditch in Canada. It was mucky and filled with garbage, and when I stopped to take a photo, a dog walked down and took a drink from the source.
In some villages, 85% of the community has been treated for waterborne disease. That’s over 4 out of every 5 people!
We still think about the moment Michael took another swing to break the ground for the water source with a hoe. Bakora smiled. “Water is coming,” he said through his grin.
And water did come. For the past 4 years, the community of Kaiho has been able to live with clean water charity Kaiho continually running through a tap stand only steps away from their homes. Everyone was so thankful; joyful even to receive this gift given to them. This tap stand has allowed the community to see restoration in health from waterborne disease and illness, as well as alleviate women of the inequity they have experienced as they are 2x more likely to fetch water than men. Giving clean water to women has given them the opportunity to focus on work and the futures of their families.
The water crisis in Uganda has been an issue for far too long, and it brings us joy that, together with you, we are making a change for the better. May this be only the beginning!