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 new well in Bukoma Village

The new well in Bukoma Village


The reason she was willing to share her land is simple: Without the well, she had to spend 4 - 6 hours a day to fill a five-gallon jerry can of water. The nearest borehole was 1.5 miles away. Every day, she and her grandkids would walk to the well and wait up to 3 hours in the long line for their turn. Sometimes she would not get a chance to pump water and would have to return home with an empty jerry can. As a backup, she could get water out of a nearby pond, but people who drink from the pond often suffer from diarrhea.

If Getulidha was lucky enough to get water out of the well, she had to carry the 40-pound jerry can 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, care for her grandkids, relax, and 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 and her 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.