In 2008 we drilled a well in Mwitanzige in a very dry area. The people were having to walk 4 Kms to get water and the children were missing school because of the time it took to walk and then wait in a long line to get water. Through God’s good grace we hit an aquifer that never dries up. The local well committee charged a small fee per jerry can for this clean water in the middle of the village, one or two cents a gallon. The people come for this water from before sunup to after sundown every day of the year. From the proceeds, they have maintained the pump and built this church and built shops and improved food production per person and generally raised the standard of living both materially and spiritually. It’s a very significant demonstration of the true value of clean water in a poverty-stricken area when the water project is properly managed by the community.
– Graham Hodgetts – Board President
CEED’s Fresh Water Project is centered in the town of Hoima, which is in the Bunyoro-Kitara region in the Great Rift Valley geological system. CEED has been working in this region since 1999 and has made an in-depth study of the many factors that have resulted in a water and health crisis for this rural population.
The water crisis and the accompanying health crisis in Uganda are caused as much by cultural as physical reasons. In the past ten years the Ugandan Government and many major charities have drilled hundreds of wells throughout the rural regions and yet the people are still without clean water. The CEED Fresh Water Project is taking a new approach to this problem with innovative engineering solutions and pilot projects which encourage communities to be proactive in solving their own water problems.
CEED’s first task was to find a way to drill new wells (“boreholes”) for less than the typical $10,000 most non-governmental agencies charge. By using our own hydraulic rigs with trained Ugandan teams, using local labor provided by those who would benefit the most, and going back to simpler technologies, we have been able to reduce the average cost to around $4,500 per borehole.
Our next challenge was to employ a Ugandan manager to oversee all the new drilling, repair work and village committee communications. Our manager has trained a crew of Ugandan “water engineers” who refurbish inoperative wells and operate the hydraulic rig to develop new ones. To date (January 2018) we have drilled or rehabbed more than 200 boreholes, used by more than 200,000 people. And the team is still working.
Matthew 10:42 says, “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.” (NIV)