Fontes Foundation continues its commitment to increase safe water access among the people of Katunguru-Kasese fishing village.
As Abraham Maslow expressed in his theory of human motivation, “human beings can only develop the desire for a higher level need if the lower level need has been met”. A similar situation is unfolding in Katunguru-Kasese fishing village. Before the construction of the safe water supply scheme in their village, people used to fetch water from Kazinga channel for their domestic use while those who could afford used to get it from Kyambura in Rubirizi district which is about 5 kilometeres away. This was because the water in Kazinga channel was highly contaminated with a lot of organic materials. Obviously, the water fetched from the channel has a very bad taste and can cause a lot of different diseases. Additionally, a lot of villagers were not aware of the fact that they were getting sick because of the bad water quality in the channel. Therefore, informing the people about the negative consequences of fetching water in the channel and the positive consequences of a safe water scheme is absolutely crucial. Otherwise, people do not see the benefits of such a change, and will refuse to pay for purchasing water at the scheme, even though it would be easily affordable for them.
Since the scheme’s construction in 2010, the demand for safe water in the village has continuously grown. At the time of construction of the scheme, one would think that one public stand would be enough as it was not clear whether the people would change from using the Kazinga channel water that they had used for decades. However, this was a wrong assumption, as most people embraced the safe water from the scheme, leading to congestion at the public stand that had four taps. Some people applied for the water lines to be extended to their homesteads so that they could have taps in order to supplement the public tap and this resulted in private connections. Those people realised the benefits of the new water scheme and with the installation of this private connections, their lives become more convenient.
Most people would expect that a fishing village cannot be able to run and sustain a pumped piped scheme, but the water user committee for the scheme has done a great job and has managed to do some reasonable extensions and private connections from the main pipe line. Recognizing the efforts of the community members, Fontes Foundation has carried out an extension of the scheme by four hundred metres into one of the corners of the village and put up another public stand pipe with four taps. In order to improve the pressure of the water, a water tower has also been constructed. With those improvements on the scheme, more private connections can be connected to the scheme which will increase the revenue collections to maintain the scheme. All of that would have not been possible without the support of the Lions Club Slemdal in Oslo, Norway, who funded the initial phase and the extension of the scheme.