Adjumani district in Northern Uganda is a very hot, dry, dusty place. When civil war broke out in South Sudan in 2013, thousands of South Sudanese refugees fled to Adjumani putting a strain on already limited water sources.
Thanks to Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and other humanitarian agencies, water coverage in the Adjumani refugee settlements is adequate, however, only about half of the host population has access to safe water. With support from Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR) and Global Affairs Canada, LWF is remedying this problem by constructing four boreholes in the Adjumani district.
One of these boreholes was drilled in Rusia East Sub-Country where I met with the Water User Committee which is responsible for maintaining and operating the borehole after receiving training from LWF.
The Committee was eager to explain how the borehole has impacted their community¾ they explain that over 500 people from 102 different households are benefitting from the water the borehole provides. Each household contributes a small monthly fee to help upkeep the borehole.
Before the borehole was constructed, people had to walk over 5km to reach the nearest borehole. Because of the far distance, most families could only fill two or three jerry cans a day. Many children were not attending school, traveling the long distance to fetch water instead. With the new borehole, they say, they are able to fill up to 11 jerry cans a day! Not only does the borehole provide enough water for drinking, bathing, cleaning and cooking, but some community members are also using the run-off water to construct clay bricks which they are selling to earn additional income.
I notice lots of children hanging around the borehole and playing in the run-off water. One of the Committee member smiles at me and explains that there are two primary schools nearby and students also benefit from the clean and safe water provided by the borehole. One little girl shows me how she can pump the water all by herself- “it’s easy” she says.
In Canada, having access to water is something we often take for granted but in Adjumani, every drop is precious. Thanks to you and the Government of Canada, water has made life a little bit easier in this rural community. “Thank you Canada!”
Heather Platt, Program Manager
Pictures by Heather Platt