Kayunga District Youth Center Rainwater Catchment Project – Uganda

This is the fourth project to be included under our Water Tank Program – Uganda. It will result in the construction of a system for capturing, storing, and distributing rainwater for use at the Kayunga District Youth Center.

The project is being implemented in Kayunga Town, Kayunga District, Central Uganda, under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Rebecca Workman. Rebecca previously completed the Kayunga District Handwashing Station Project – Uganda.

The Community
Kayunga District is a rural district located in Central Uganda along the River Nile. The residents of the District are very ethnically diverse: There are 52 different tribes that comprise Kayunga District. The majority of the population belongs to the Buganda Tribe of central Uganda, the Banyala Tribe, and refugee populations from other East and Central African countries fleeing hardship.

Most of the population earn their living through farming a variety of crops, herding livestock, and fishing along the River Nile and in Lake Kyoga, located in northern Kayunga District.

Kayunga Town is located in roughly the center of Kayunga District. It is a major trading stop between Uganda’s capital city of Kampala and Jinja Town.

During the day, the town becomes a hub for business, resulting in a daytime population of roughly 32,000 people. The actual number of people who call Kayunga Town their home is roughly 28,000.

Kayunga Town also contains Kayunga District Hospital. The trading, the daily influx of people, and the District Hospital all lead to increased population and a considerable water shortage on a regular basis within the town.

Most residents of Kayunga Town in Kayunga West and Nakaliro have access to the town water system, which pumps water from the swamp outside of Kayunga Town, through a tap system, and into people’s homes. The main tank that stores this water is located just outside the property of Kayunga District Youth Center. The tank is not big enough to meet the needs of the people who rely on its water supply, and the tank often runs dry.

The pumps that extract the water from the swamp rely on consistent electricity, which has become increasingly unreliable since the middle of last year. Due to this unfortunate fact, tap water can be completely unavailable for periods lasting longer than a week, and the residents of Kayunga Town are forced to stand by and wait for the water they need, hoping that their previously-stored supplies will not run dry.

There are currently only three boreholes in Kayunga Town, and they are all located in Kayunga West and Nakarilo. Residents will travel up to five kilometers to get water for their families. However, due to limited supply and consequently high prices, regular use of these boreholes becomes quite expensive for many members of the community, and, nearly every day, the boreholes are closed by their owners in an attempt to prevent overuse and to maintain the groundwater table. However, most residents do not understand this concept and are left with minimal water resources that are inadequate to meet their needs.

Kayunga District Youth Center
The Kayunga District Youth Center was established in 2006 to build District capacity in identifying and providing HIV prevention, care, and treatment services to the surrounding population of Kayunga District. The objective of the center is to build infrastructure, capacity, and systems of local public and private partners in central Uganda to ensure sustainable, quality, comprehensive HIV and other health-related services for the surrounding communities.

The youth center population consists of youths ages 12 – 25, HIV+ youths and adults, TB+ youths and adults, and the hospital complex serving the entire district and surrounding communities.

The youth center staff go to rural health centers located in Kayunga, Mukono and Buvuma Districts daily to service the populations for HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment, TB assessment and referral, and Malaria prevention.

Although the youth center services all three districts, Kayunga District Youth Center is located in a part of Kayunga Town called Kayunga West and Nakaliro. In Kayunga Town, Kayunga District Youth Center focuses a majority of its efforts on improving the health care and lives of patients admitted to Kayunga District Hospital, which is a two-minute walk away from the Youth Center. While focusing on routine testing and counseling in the main hospital, the Youth Center also helps refer patients for safe and free medical male circumcision and runs a youth STI clinic that also works with TB screening.

The Project
This project is to build a rainwater catchment system for the use of the youth center and the residents of the town.

The heart of the system will be two new 15,000-liter rain collection tanks using the Interlocking Stabilized Soil Bricks (ISSB) construction technique. The technology is further described under our Interlocking Stabilized Soil Bricks Water Tank Program – Uganda.

Roof gutters will be attached to the buildings, and piping will be run to direct the water from the gutters to the tanks. A first flush system will be installed for each tank, thus diverting contaminated water from the first rain of the season from the drinking water supply.

The project will be managed by a competent and dedicated community organization, Brick by Brick Construction which has experience in successfully implementing similar projects.

The system will benefit 12,000 people, including those who use the services of the youth center, and the residents of the surrounding communities.

In addition to improving the sources of drinking water available to the youth center, the hospital, and surrounding communities, the collected water will be used to help keep buildings and latrines clean, which will lessen the transfer of illness as a result of hygiene issues.

This project has been paid for with funds from the First Unitarian Society of Madison, Wisconsin and the Hack & Slash Christmas Special.

This project has been concluded.