A new well in Bukoma Village saves people up to five hours a day
Getulidha Nabirye lives with her two grandsons in Bukoma Village. She recently donated some of her land to the community for a new well. She lost some space in her garden for corn and sweet potatoes, but the well gives her easy access to clean water.
The reason she was willing to share her land with the community for the new well is simple: without the well she had to spend 4 - 6 hours a day to get a jerrycan of five gallons of water. The nearest borehole was 1.5 miles away. Everyday she and her grandkids would walk to the well, which was overused, so there was always a long line. She would often wait 3 hours for her turn. Sometimes she would not get a chance to pump water and would have to return home. When this happened she could get water out of a nearby pond that was shared with animals and unsafe to drink. People who drink from it often suffer diarrhea. When she did get water she would have to carry the 40 pound jerrycan 1.5 miles home. This daily journey took the entire day, and most of Getulidha’s energy, leaving little time to tend her garden, cook, take care of her grandkids, relax, or earn money.
Trading part of her garden for easy access to water was an easy choice. When it was time to drill the well she along with other community members, provided food to feed the borehole drillers for two days. Getulidha even gave two hens to the drillers as a thank you gift!
The long term success of the well depends on the community's commitment to take care of it. They have established a Water User Committee to save funds for future repairs and ensure the the well is used correctly. Getulidha has taken ownership of the well by making sure it stays clean, and if she sees anybody pumping in a way that will damage it she teaches them the correct technique. Getulidha, the Water User Committee, and the rest of the people in Bukoma Village are committed to long lasting clean water. Nabirye and her grandsons are just happy that she can spend more time in her gardens, she has time to clean her home too, and they have clean water to drink.