Nalukoba Aggrey, 35, is a father of six, a farmer and a voluntary operator for the new water system in the village of Kyabakooli, Bugiri district in Eastern Uganda. He has been the caretaker of the system since it was completed last year.
Before the mini-piped water scheme was established, residents were forced to walk over two kilometers in search of water. Aggrey could see the plight of residents; walking long distances only to return with 10 litres of water – not enough for a family’s daily use. The collected water was often contaminated, as the water source acted as a natural habitat for frogs and insects. The only accessible borehole was in a distant village, and that would often break down.
With no accessible source of clean water, sicknesses like diarrhea and typhoid were rife in the community. Young children were especially vulnerable.
A Community Ready for Change
In 2022, the community of Kyabakooli worked with GOAL to construct the new mini-piped water scheme, to bring a clean water source into the village. The system uses easily replaceable parts that can be sourced locally. It also uses solar energy, with the panels mounted above the 8,000-capacity storage tank, to pump the water.
Aggrey was nominated by fellow residents to be part of the new Water User Committee (WUC) with training from GOAL to help him manage the system. He had no hesitation in taking up the responsibility, because he wanted to be part of the transformation in his village.
He wakes up early each morning to open the source which is locked with padlocks. A few meters away are two tap-stands where people fetch their water. He cleans inside the room that houses the pumping system, and inspects the taps and drains to ensure there are no blockages. The water system is then ready for the community to use.
After his morning’s activity, Aggrey fetches some water for his household before setting off to work in his day-job, farming maize and beans in his field.
Kyabakooli is just one of the seven mini-piped water schemes constructed by GOAL in the two districts of Bugiri and Namayingo. These water systems have now been successfully handed over for continued supervision by the Eastern Umbrella Authority, an arm of the Ugandan Ministry of Water and Environment. With easily accessible parts and management and support from within the community, the mini-piped water scheme can remain functional long into the future, ensuring the community have sustainable access to clean water.
Community Benefits from Clean Water
Aggrey says he enjoys volunteering for his community. He says it is fulfilling because he now sees his community members healthier than before due to the consumption of cleaner, safer water. Since the community taps stands were constructed, community members have been supportive, and they pay their user contribution to the WUC. So far, he says there have been no major challenges and that the district water office has been fully supportive whenever they are consulted.
He also notes a renewed sense of harmony and wellbeing in the community because families can get water just a few meters from their doorsteps, thanks to GOAL’s support.
“Mothers, who traditionally fetched the water, are now able to spend more time with their families or working. There is also an improvement in the hygiene of my children and others in the community. I hope to hear that reported cases of diseases like diarrhea, bilharzia and typhoid are reduced soon.”
World Water Day 2022
World Water Day, 22nd March, celebrates our most vital resource and raises awareness of the fact that over 2 billion people, over a quarter of the earth’s population, are living without access to safe water.
Last year, GOAL helped over 3.6 million people to improve access to safe water through its Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programmes around the world. Everyone needs clean, safe water for drinking, cooking and washing. Through GOAL’s water and sanitation work with communities like Aggrey’s, we are promoting the vital benefits to the health and well-being of communities across the globe.