Bibbo Village is located in Namakonkome Parish, Wakiso District in Uganda. Before the project, it was one of the most disadvantaged areas in relation to the availability of clean, safe drinking water and suitable sanitation. This rural village had very few safe water sources and many people would walk long distances of between 1.5 – 2.5km, spending up to two hours collecting water.
There was little awareness amongst the communities about the causes of common illnesses like diarrhoea, dysentery, and skin diseases. Drinking unsafe water and living in an environment where sanitation was so poor, meant that many households spent a lot of money on treatment they could not afford. This left little time and money to spend on income generating activities, trapping many in poverty.
The people of the village are mainly subsistence farmers who earn less than one dollar a day. The prevalence of HIV/AIDs has resulted in an increase in the number of orphans – many grandparents used to struggle to walk the distances needed to collect safe water for their grandchildren, and many sent the children to collect water from nearby ponds.
In October 2013, work began in Bibbo Village on an integrated community managed water, hygiene and sanitation project. The project was implemented by Just a Drop’s local partner Voluntary Action for Development (VAD) sponsored by Reed Wheelers, Group IST & UKInbound. The project aimed to provide clean safe water to Bibbo Village through the construction of three shallow wells and as a result, reduce the common diseases caused by drinking unsafe water. This project also targeted the elderly and most vulnerable in the village, by providing two nominated families with improved pit latrines and water jars in their households.
Three shallow wells were constructed in Bibbo Village. The project included the training of three Water User Committees (WUCs) for Mubisi Shallow Well, Joseph Shallow Well, and Lugolobi Shallow Well. Two water jars and two latrines for the elderly and disabled were also constructed.
To ensure the sustainability of the project, the community is encouraged to maintain the facilities in various ways, for example: to put up a live fence around the shallow wells; clean the wells and sites; set up by-laws; continue training and pay water user fees; and to service the pump every three months. Each water source was given a tool box comprising of a pump lock and simple tools for servicing.
The water users of each shallow well have agreed to collect monthly fees of 500UGX a month per household (approx. 12p) and the money is being kept by the treasurer of each water source. The fees will be used for any repairs or maintenance needed, but until they are required the community will lend the money to members with a small amount of interest as short term loans.
Ten demonstration training sessions and two community sensitization training sessions were conducted for the entire village. Two community masons were also trained for future repairs and maintenance of the constructed facilities. Furthermore, Community Monitoring Teams (CMTs) were trained and are now responsible for the promotion of good hygiene & sanitation practice in the village. The entire community is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the facilities. However, the trained water user committees of each well will enforce good operation and maintenance.
To date, at least 68 households out of 125 households have improved their sanitation environment, as a result of the house to house training conducted by the VAD hygiene promoter. Hygiene practice has improved with 85 households constructing dish racks for the storage of utensils and 69 households have either constructed new bath shelters with soak-pits or improved existing ones. 52 house holds have also dug rubbish pits.
With the construction of the three shallow wells, 125 households are collecting clean and safe water from these water sources, and over 869 individuals benefit from this. The women and children now walk much shorter distances to fetch water from the newly constructed water sources and the average time taken to fetch water is now between 30 to 50 minutes rather than two hours.
George William Tebusweke
He says, “I am so proud of my home now. Previously I would stay at my home for a short time only; I would be roaming around the village because I didn’t have the basic necessities like the latrine. Water was another big problem, because I used to spend four consecutive days without bathing or washing my clothes, so everyone in the community did not want to sit or stand near me, because I was always dirty. Life was very difficult for me because I didn’t have any friends in the whole village, I was so lonely yet I wanted to be with friends.
An effective latrine and availability of water makes one have a peaceful mind. But for me this was a nightmare. Everyone would at first sight seem miserable.
My life changed only two months ago when I was selected as one of the elderly persons to benefit from the new project in our village. I received an improved two stance latrine with a bathroom and also received a water jar for water harvesting in my house. These two facilities made me feel different and very happy my life became easy and I regained all my former friends whom I lost because of lack of the latrine and because I was no longer begging for water, I regained my dignity as an old man in the village. My life has changed I can now bathe every day because water is readily available in my home.
I can now stay at my home longer hours than I used to, because I have a safe latrine in my home. There are now three other families that share my latrine, and I have no problems with them at all. I walk around the village with pride now everyone respects me now. This is due to the new acquired good latrine in my home. My home is now a model home in the village – I am full of joy!!”
Project sponsors: Reed Wheelers, Group IST and UKInbound
Date of project: May 2014
Beneficiaries: approx 125 households