Saturday, January 17, 2009

Water for Kibaale

Kibaale has been hurting for water for such a long time. Too many people from the community are forced to take their jerry cans down to the river down the hill from Kibaale Community Centre. There they wade in knee deep and plunge their cans in to gather water for washing, cooking, and drinking. But the water is absolutely terrible - though it appears to be better than other sources since it is a fast moving water source, what you can't see directly is the waste and filth that is being carried along as it snakes its way through Kibaale. People wash their clothes, bathe, let their cattle drink, and flush their waste away down the river just upstream from where the local community wades in for their drinking water. Even if you can't see anything, you can smell it if you just stand over the bridge.

Water has been such a challenge in the Rakai district. This area is known for having hard water, and the ground is incredibly rocky and full of minerals that deposit iron and salts into whatever shallow wells are around. The only way to get fresh water is to drill deep. And for that you need funds that just aren't available.

Thankfully there are people who care enough to donate money to allow people in this area to have access to good clean water. It was with this money that Kibaale Community Centre was able to contract a local drilling company in Kampal to come down and put a brand new borehole in for all the surrounding villages. Now that it has been installed, people are just ecstatic and so excited - kids line up with their jerry cans, old men hobble off their bicycles for a chance at the new water source, and everywhere we go there is a 'thank you muzungu' hitting our ears. It's great. Thank you so much to those who give money to change lives over here in Uganda. The impact this borehole will have is incredible.

This is the original river water source. Note the cows grazing in the field and the people at the top of the picture washing their laundry

Trucks arriving and the crew setting up camp

The drill site. This used to be all bush - nothing four machete-wielding maniacs can't handle in half an hour though

With the land cleared the trucks backed in

Getting set up

Firing up the rig. The rig has a monstrous turbocharged diesel on the back which is used entirely to run an air compressor

Drilling is messy business

Once a section has been drilled they raise the rig and insert a new pipe to hammer down farther. Sixteen of these pipes were used.

The crowd looks on

The view from in town. The location is absolutely perfect - very close to the river where water was already drawn, and nice and close to town. Also, sitting at a crossroads where a lot of vehicle and foot traffic passes, so it is highly visible


One of the friendlies women I've met here in my time insisted on having her photo taken. She and her child come here everyday

The drilling drew a huge crowd

Water found and drilling complete, and now they install the pipes. The long term was considered here and so plastic pipes were used. Metal is the norm, but over time it can rust and foul the water

Me and Paul. Paul is in P2. And Paul is brilliant - near perfect english. We had a pretty good day together

A view of the drilling from Kibaale Community Centre

Pipes have been installed. Now using tubes and air to clean the water below and get the drilling sediment out of the pipes

Day three and a crew is here to do the final assembly of the handpump

A crowd was gathered to watch the handpump install. I was excited to be a part of the action, but then a cow had to go and die across the street. Then the butcher came. And then my crowd left to watch until there was no cow left

They are installing an India Mark II handpump. Known to be one of the world's sturdiest designs and cheap to maintain and repair

Complete! The install team takes a break and the kids getto test it out... "Malungi!" - It's good water!

Final phase is to cast the base with cement

Finished, and now just needs time to dry

A week later once the base has dried, we held a meeting and launch ceremony to hand over ownership of the well to the Kibaale Community. This is the official launch with a bunch of the local government leaders

This girl has a crush on me. Yeah!


Lesley said...

Oh what a fantastic post...that is SO brilliant that Kibaale now has access to clean water.

Rachelle said...

I love reading your posts, you both are so good with words. Keeping up with all you are doing is rewarding even from here in Canada. Thanks for keeping us updated!!! The world is so small with the internet!!!

Praying for both of you.

Rachelle and Mike too

Lavonne said...

Great post! Love the pictures. Thanks for keeping us updated.

Rachel said...

Wow, how exciting to be a part of this! I love the "and then a cow had to go and die part", so funny. You guys are awesome.

Phil (PHILH959) said...

Sean, you missed your calling, as you should be a writer! I start reading and then can not stop.

It looks as if you and your team are finally starting to make headway there. It is exciting to see fresh water readily available to the town! AS to your Rat-Express, I hope you continue to er-rat-icate them!
Tell Jamie, I said hi! God bless and keep you both!!!!