In most places around Australia we can turn on a tap and drink the water. We can turn on a tap and take a shower. Our water is generally clean and safe to drink and use.
Travel to Uganda (and many other parts of the world), the basic life necessity of drinking water can cause terrible sickness, among other things. They say that ‘water is life’, but sometimes water can take life too.
IGF’s WASH program focuses on the provision of clean water, and in providing education and support to improve health and sanitation in the broader communities. In 2014, IGF worked in partnership with Water Harvest International (based in Juba, South Sudan), to drill 20 boreholes for the least served regions in northern Uganda. An additional 34 boreholes were refurbished back to working order.
The project did not stop there. To Each community borehole has a Water User Committee which is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the borehole. When the borehole requires maintenance, the Committee already has the funds raised by the local community to pay for the repairs. IGF regularly checks on the boreholes to ensure they are working properly, and conduct maintenance when required. Working together with the Water User Committees has increased the long-term functionality of all the boreholes IGF helped drill and refurbish back in 2014.
It has been found that when the local communities have a sense of ownership and responsibility for their borehole, they are much more likely to take care of it and make repairs when required. When each community member contributes a small amount of funds for the upkeep of the borehole, they have demonstrated higher responsibility.
Let’s continue to provide clean safe drinking water to those in remote areas of Northern Uganda, and ensure the long-term functionality of existing boreholes. Working together with local communities is the most effective way that IGF and each of you can ensure safe drinking water for all.