In September 2007, two diesel pumps were stolen from Katunguru. The police, locals and local authorities were all involved in an attempt to recover the pumps, but unfortunately they failed. The Local Government, Uganda Wildlife Authority and the villager together collected about USD 2100 to buy new pumps, however, a balance of about USD 7500 was remaining. Happily, the two Norwegian companies Computas and JOS Shipping chose to donate the pump installations as a Christmas gift in stead of giving presents to their employees
On the 29th of March 2008, members of the water committees from Kazinga, Kisenyi and Katunguru in Bushenyi district, and Kiruruma in Kanungu district, were invited to a one-day seminar at Katunguru primary school. Committee members and technicians worked in groups and discussed roles and responsibilities, financial management and exchanged ideas about how to solve problems. Training is crucial for the management of the water systems, and also helps to motivate the committee members that work on a voluntary basis.
On February 6th, the Kazinga Drinking Water Project, in the village of Kazinga, Katunguru Sub-County, Bushenyi District, Uganda, was officially commissioned. Guest of honor was the Local Council 5 chair person Ishanga Longino Ndyanabo, and the Member of Parliament of the area was also present. The project was officially opened, however it was empathized that all stakeholders which have been involved in the implementation of the project have to continue to support the project to ensure it’s sustainability. So far, between December 15th and February 13th, the Kazinga Drinking Water Project was produced and sold 483’800 liters of safe drinking water to the community, equivalent to 21’035 jerry cans.
Early December 2007 the villagers of Kazinga could start to enjoy safe drinking water which they can fetch from community tap stations located within the village. Until now, the villagers had to carry the water from the near-by channel. However, the water in the channel is highly contaminated by organic material, and since firewood is scarce in the area, only few could afford to cook the water before domestic consumption. A small purification unit, operated by the newly established water committee, now ensures safe water.
After an intensive visit by Marius Koestler in September, a shallow well was dug in order to assure the safe intake of water. The plastic liners of the well were sponsored by Crestanks, a local company, in order to test their ability in practice. The well, with a depth of 4 metres, was completed with the collaboration of the community. In addition to this, a chemical research project was carried out in order to improve the quality of the water. The water in the Kazinga channel has many features that make it difficult to obtain clear, clean water with a good taste. The project was a great success, and we are already seeing the positive impacts of the improved water quality. In addition to this, the long-awaited water extension to the school was completed. Pipes were laid from the tank site to a new tap-station at the school 250 meters away, and pupils and teachers now profit from clean water every day. The biggest task we see for the water project is supporting the water committee with the administration of the system, something that is very important to achieve sustainability.
During their visit in March 2006, Marius Koestler and Lucrezia Koestler saw that most of the technical equipment is still in good shape and has been well looked after. At the same time there was a problem of algae in the tanks because of too much sunlight. Also, because the water level in the Kazinga channel has sunk, the water inlet is no longer adequate. The water contains too much sand which destroys the pump. A second important issue is the community; even if the people in Katunguru are eager to help, they do not know how to properly organize themselves. During their visit, Marius and Lucrezia called for a community meeting and a water committee was elected. Their responsibilities are to reach out to the community about the importance of using filtered water, and to collect the contributions. They also have the authority to take decisions and responsibility to solve problems. The water committee is now working well and reports regularly to Oslo. Health has improved considerably in Katunguru since the clean water arrived, especially among the children.
The main problem at the moment is the water in-take in the channel. We decided that the most appropriate solution would be to dig a shallow well (up to 8m deep) close to the channel. With a visit by Lucrezia in July and a second visit by Marius in September 2006, this will hopefully be completed within a few months.