Uganda: Clean Water Transforms a Community

Publication Date: 
August 13, 2013

In Uganda, more than 12 million people lack access to safe drinking water. Women and children are the most vulnerable: they walk hours each way, morning and night, to collect water in small jugs for their families. Exhausted by the task, many children miss school or arrive unable to learn, and countless fall ill from cholera and dysentery. Thanks to the Bombo Water Project funded by Salesian Missions, the situation in one community is about to improve dramatically.

The initiative aims to harness Uganda’s precious water resources through the construction of wells, rain gutters and collection tanks.

“During the rainy season, we lose a good quantity of water,” says Fr. Ruriho Jean Paul of the Salesian Province of Kigali. “In using innovative ways to capture it, we can provide an ongoing source of clean water to hundreds of people.”

Students from the Don Bosco Technical Training Center in Bombo are involved in the project, gaining valuable experience by installing the gutters on their own school buildings. Small local companies have also begun digging two boreholes for wells located in the village, and are installing rainwater collection tanks equipped with electrical pumps in the primary and secondary schools. Soon, families in town and children in school will be able to gather their daily water nearby, year-round.

The impact of this work is tremendous. No longer burdened by the exhausting search for water, children can focus on their schoolwork -- and improve their chances of college and a better life. And, by reducing the threat of water-borne illness, the project will improve everyone’s health -- increasing overall productivity in the community, and helping the people of Bombo realize their full potential.

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