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Wakonye Kenwa – Water

We glided down the hill on our ‘lelas’ (bicycles) until the suburbia morphed into farmland. We arrived to witness a special moment for Tessa and the ‘Wakonye Kenwa' community group based at St Catherine’s church: the drilling of the first borehole! We were greeted cheerfully by Omia Sophia, who had already been there for 5 hours since 7:30am in the morning. “I wanted to make sure they drilled the full 50 meters deep they promised, and put down all 15 pipes. They are onto number 14!”

This borehole could be described as a ‘bonus,’ as it was somewhat unexpected. A long time ago the hospital built a sewage treatment pond behind the hospital, which unfortunately ruined the groundwater. Its hard to blame the hospital - the pond was built when over ten thousand people were using the hospital as a refuge and they needed somewhere to put the sewage. Many years back, the hospital pledged to drill a new borehole in the area to replace the contaminated water. Unfortunately, talks between the community and the hospital broke down, and the promise was lost in the winds of time.

Wakonye Kenwa worked with local leaders to revive the negotiations and start mending the soured relationship. The hospital acted fast, and a few weeks later the borehole was drilled! The area isn’t quite where the worst water shortage is, but Wakonye Kenwa has convinced the local government to meet that need with another borehole - so watch this space.

 

For more about Nick & Tessa Laing and the work they are part of in Uganda click here.