Kyanamira has a population of approximately 20,000 people in the Kabale District of south-west Uganda. The region is surrounded by a natural reservoir, from which a piped distribtution system was installed in 1999, but – due to people in the community connecting their houses directly to it – it started to fail less than three months after it was operational. In fact, a combination of cuts in the pipe and illegal connections meant that all too soon, people had no access to a local water supply. As a result, rather than being in school, children were forced to spend much of their time walking long distances to collect water. Their time in school was also limited by the frequent occurrence of illnesses such as dysentery caused by drinking unclean water from contaminated sources.
Just a Drop collaborated with Africa Equipment for Schools (AES), who were able to renovate 17 water collection points in the area as well as supplying an additional four. In addition, a new, 1,500 litre reservoir was constructed and the existing one was renovated (by installing a cement lining). The pipes were repaired and laid one metre underground – specifically to deter people from connecting their properties to it. The work was pretty labour intensive, as the ground was very rocky; digging through the forest was particularly hard but the project team was careful not to remove any trees.
The digging team was organized into three crews, each with a team leader. Every member of the digging team was supplied with tough gum boots, hoes, picks and shovels. The team found damage on the pipe at 38 points and replaced over 100 metres of piping using 28 new unions.
On the last day of their digging, the crew were given a certificate of commendation and a bottle of local wine for the excellent work they had carried out. On the final Saturday, there was a football match between the project team and the diggers – the latter of whom were pipped to the post in a penalty shoot out!
In Kyanamira, three primary schools, two senior schools, a health centre and the district office have all been able to benefit from the project. The general health of the population has greatly improved and the community itself is stronger with the people feeling more upbeat. What’s more, the children are cleaner, healthier and are now able to attend school.
Usage varies from stand to stand with easily the busiest being the stand (no:19) at the trading centre which has a queue for water from about 7am right through to the evening. Peak times at the other stands are from 7.30am until 9.30am and again from 5pm to 7pm (when the light starts to fade). Other busy stands are the Rwabbaba Village Centre, Kyanamira Primary and Nyamirima stand No: 3. Over the four hour peak time, each standpipe can deliver almost 1,000 litres of water.
Date of Project: July 2011