UK-based charity Fields of Life has announced that it has built a total of 750 boreholes in some of the remotest parts of Uganda and South Sudan to bring clean, safe water to hundreds of thousands of people.
Wells drilled by Fields of Life are typically 50-100 metres deep and can provide more than 300 people with clean, safe water every day.
In a bid to maintain the functionality and sanitation of the boreholes, Fields of Life, together with the respective district local governments and community members of Uganda, have identified over 7,000 local people to serve on various Water User Committees and protect the water supply systems.
From July 2017 to June 2018, 107 Water User Committees have been set up with support from Fields of Life. They work to ensure that each water well is properly maintained as well as providing training to communities on how to look after their water source.
Committee members are democratically elected by the beneficiary communities and consist of up to ten members, with an equal number of men and women. Individuals receive training on safe water chain maintenance, their responsibilities and roles, the structure of the committee and record keeping.
Commenting on the progress being made, Daniel Semaganda, a Fields of Life officer in charge of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), said:
“When something is left without a caretaker, it usually disintegrates. Similarly, when water sources are left without caretakers, they can disintegrate.
“The Water User Committees ensure that even after Fields of Life leaves the area, the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene standards are maintained.
“The community needs to be involved because if not they can, knowingly or unknowingly, destroy a water supply system.”
Deborah Cameron, Head of Development and Fundraising at Fields of Life GB, said:
“To provide boreholes to communities who don’t have access to clean water is one thing, but to put a structure in place to ensure that those boreholes will remain functional after we leave is helping to drive real change in the remotest parts of Uganda.
“Providing a community with access to a clean, safe water source does more than just reduce the number of water-related illnesses – it reduces the number of hours spent collecting water, which therefore allows children to attend school and gain a quality education, and also reduces the risk of attack on young girls who have to fetch water alone.”
Fields of Life continues to drill boreholes across Uganda and aims to provide clean water to one million people by 2020.