Conclusion of Well Handpump Repair and Workshop Program - Uganda

Conclusion of Well Handpump Repair and Workshop Program - Uganda

This project has been completed under the partnership of Water Charity, the National Peace Corps Association, Wine To Water, and Connect Africa, and involved the participation of Peace Corps Volunteer Katherine Marshall.  It is a part of our ongoing East Africa Water & Sanitation Program.
To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.

Project Highlights:

  • Threading a new pump rod.Reached 3,642 Ugandans with access to clean water 
  • Successfully repaired 10 well handpumps
  • Held 10-day workshop training, 13 technicians, on handpump repair
  • Held 2-day workshop training, 48 water committee members, on borehole maintenance
  • 4 additional well handpumps were repaired with local Uganda Water Project Funds helping an additional 1,200+ people access clean water

Project Summary:  

In May of 2015, Water Charity funded a well handpump repair workshop in Wakiso District of Uganda.  This unique project aimed to train/retrain handpump technicians, educate water committee members, and repair 10 broken handpumps/wells.  Robert Acaye, handpump repair program manager for Connect Africa, conducted site assessments with District representatives and led the workshop.  There were 13 total participants from Connect Africa, Uganda Water Project, Drink Local Drink Tap, EMI, and the Peace Corps.

Participants pulling pipe and preparing a new cylinder.The first three days were devoted to handpump repair classroom training, held at the Connect Africa “HUB” in Migadde, Wakiso District.  Lessons included handpump parts/functions, proper tools/procedures, troubleshooting, and well maintenance.  The teachings were fun and interactive, with meals provided for the participants.  There was a mixture of new and returning participants, all receiving certifications on the third day.

The next two days were perhaps the most important, addressing the “software”.  They focused on Borehole Management, covering topics such as community ownership, source protection, and managing finances.  This included each borehole’s own water committee, usually consisting of four members each.  The first session was held at the HUB, with members from Gombe and Centema sub-counties. The second session was held at Masulita sub-county headquarters, with member from that area.  All water committee members made their own by-laws and set household water user fees, usually about $0.30 (1,000 UGX) per month.  A total of 48 committee members attended; each receiving lunch and a small transportation reimbursement.

Borehole maintenance class with water committee members in Masulita.The remaining five days were all spent in the field, repairing the handpumps and promoting proper hygiene.  The participants were very eager to get real experience to develop skills that complement their new knowledge.  The group of 14 was divided into two, each with a separate task that rotated back each day.  While one group repaired the handpump, the other group taught community members on disease transmission, washing hands, and clean water storage.  All of this activity created quite a buzz, with decent sized crowds watching the technicians work, listening to the hygiene promotion, and preforming tasks needed for the well (like slashing grass, picking up trash, and fence building). 

The most common mechanical problems were worn out cylinders (rubbers and foot valve), pipes, and rods.  Other problems included broken handles, chains, pump heads, and concrete pad repair.  A wide variety of repair techniques were practiced during the workshop.

The whole workshop ended with successfully repairing 14 handpumps and equipping their water committees with the knowledge to maintain them.  The government funds which enabled the addition of 4 "extra wells" was a welcome matching/ community contribution.  As a result, an estimated 4,842 Ugandans now have access to clean water thanks to Water Charity, Connect Africa, and this program!  Also, 13 handpump repair technicians have built both hardware and software skills to make a huge difference. 

Peace Corp Volunteer, Katherine Marshall, stated how impressed she was at the workshop and how it has given her new community training skills to use in the future.

 

Well Details:

Well #

Community Name

Parish

Sub County

People Served

Static/Well Depth

GPS Location

1

Sinabulya

Masulita

Masulita

420

20/40 feet

N 0°30'44.66"  

E 32°21'13.33"

2

Centema

Centema

Centema

210

10/30 feet

N 0°21'56.02"  

E 32°24'13.78"

3

Kisaga

Kisaga

Masulita

210

20/70 feet

N 0°31'04.17"  

E 32°21'26.05"

4

Kiziba

Kiziba

Masulita

350

15/40 feet

N 0°27'59.31"  

E 32°19'56.55"

5

Kigogwa

Migade

Gombe

400

10/35 feet

N 0°29'59.25"  

E 32°39'22.34"

6

Bubale Central

Bubale

Gombe

420

85/240 feet

N 0°28'53.63"  

E 32°28'07.89"

7

Abasi

Kaaso

Gombe

322

25/65 feet

N 0°32'37.19"  

E 32°29'59.85"

8

Kigogwa S/School

Migade

Gombe

500 students

50/75 feet

N 0°30'28.70"  

E 32°31'22.10"

9

Bugulube

Bugulube

Gombe

210

10/25 feet

N 0°30'44.66"  

E 32°21'13.33"

10

City Land College

Kigogwa

Gombe

600 students

40/70 feet

N 0°29'09.21"  

E 32°30'40.25"

 

 

 

 

3,642

 

 

 

Way forward:  

Routine follow-ups will be done to keep community relations and ensure the well is maintained (92% previous results).  This will be much easier because the all the communities are within Wakiso District, where the HUB is located.

We would like to thank everyone involved for executing such a fine project, and we would also like to thank Kyle Lomax and David Cuthbert of Wine To Water for another successful partnership and their quality field reporting on this. We again express our gratitude to the donor who provided the funding for the project.

This was an extraordinary project for Water Charity, not only because of the tremendous results, but also because it pioneered a new model in our relationship with the Peace Corps.  A serving Peace Corps Volunteer was able to participate in an important extended learning and work experience.  The knowledge gained is being transmitted to her fellow Volunteers, staff, and the NGO where she works, thereby multiplying the benefits.

Contaminated water source, used before the well was repaired.
^ Contaminated water source, used before the well was repaired. ^

Community members ready for their well to be repaired.Participants pulling pipe and preparing a new cylinder.
Newly repaired well being used.Children watching the water flow.

Newly repaired well being used.                                                                                     Children watching the water flow.


 

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