Action Africa Help International

You are here:

Newsletter Subscription

Follow Us

Jonas Bhalikigamba (centre, right) and AAH Uganda water engineer, Oscar Rwothomio (centre, left) inspect the borehole in Kentomi village as community members look on.

Clean water gives life to the village

“This borehole is part of our everyday life. Without it I think we would have died of diseases from dirty water.”

Jonas Bhalikigamba is a 30 year old Congolese national living in Kentomi village, Kyangwali refugee settlement, Western Uganda. He and his family came to Kyangwali on 16 August 2013 from Bubukwanga transit camp with other Congolese nationals following the outbreak of war in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

 

Clean water gives life to the village

 

 Jonas Bhalikigamba (centre, right) and AAH Uganda water engineer, Oscar Rwothomio (centre, left) inspect the borehole in Kentomi village as community members look on.

“This borehole is part of our everyday life. Without it I think we would have died of diseases from dirty water.”

 

Jonas Bhalikigamba is a 30 year old Congolese national living in Kentomi village, Kyangwali refugee settlement, Western Uganda. He and his family came to Kyangwali on 16 August 2013 from Bubukwanga transit camp with other Congolese nationals following the outbreak of war in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

 

Before the construction of the borehole, Jonas said access to safe water was very poor.

“We used to get water for all uses from the stream bordering Kitooro village and it was dirty water but we had no option then,” he said.

“Our lives were not good because we lacked clean water. Cooking was difficult because the food colour would change due to the colour of the water sometimes. Our children, and even some adults, complained about stomach pains due to drinking the water. Even washing clothes was difficult and we would use a lot of soap.”

 

“In the second week, AAH Uganda installed one water tank but it was not enough for us, our number was really big. People would over crowd at the water point and fight daily. When the tank was brought at least the cases of stomach problems were reduced.”

 

AAH Uganda then constructed a bore hole to provide Jonas’ village with a continuous supply of safe water.  

 

“We are really very happy for it because now clean water is accessible for everyone. We use it to drink, wash and keep our bodies and homes clean.

 

"The community elected me as chairperson of the nine member water user committee. AAH Uganda organised training for all the newly elected water users’ committee in the settlement including the committee members from this borehole. I was one of the 97 people trained for three consecutive days by AAH and now we really have the knowledge and skills to maintain our borehole. That’s why you see it so clean,” he said with a smile.

 

“From the time we started drinking water from this borehole I have not had stomach problems. Also, now there is no congestion because everyone fetches at any time. But in those days when we were using the tank, you would see a long line of jerrycans here.”

 

The water point is now one of the best maintained in Kyangwali refugee settlement. The community, led by the AAH Uganda-trained water users’ committee, clean it daily and have fenced it to protect it from contamination by animals.

 

As told to Bandu Roy (Sanitation and Hygiene Assistant) and Rwothomio Oscar (Water Technician).

 

 

 

 

 

Inspiring story ahead of the World Refugee day.