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Accessing water in the Agago Rock Catchment, Uganda

The Agago district, situated in Northern Uganda, faces a problem with accessing groundwater sources. The rocky nature of the soil means water is too deep and difficult for communities to access. Previous efforts to solve the problem, by the District Local Government and partners, include the provision of deep and shallow wells which have often been unsuccessful and have resulted in dry wells.

During the dry season, the humidity causes streams and rivers to dry up and a lack of access to water has been an ongoing challenge for the village of Akwang (in Paimol Sub County). In the village, 90% of the houses are roofed with straw which makes it difficult to tap roof top water and the available water sources are shared between animals and humans. Ultimately, this has resulted in members of the community traveling long distances in search of water, predominantly affecting women and children.

As a solution, Aidenvironment worked with the community to use the existing rocks in the region to tap water and make it widely available. With the rocks already in place and the arrival of the bi-annual rainy season in Agago, the first rainwater harvesting system was created.

This approach presented an opportunity to achieve the water-food-energy nexus, providing communities with good quality water which afforded them more time for growing crops for food production. Communities and schools adjacent to the water systems benefited. The need for women and children to walk up to 3km in search of safe water was reduced, which meant children could attend school to continue their education.

The harvesting system also reduced the pressure on natural resources like trees for income generation, through charcoal production as an alternative source of income for some community members.

Stakeholders

  • Local government officials
  • Community members
  • Other partner NGOs working in the area
  • The schools’ management and students
  • Cultural and religious leaders.

 

Funding sources

  • The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (through the WASH Alliance subprogram of the WASH SDG program).
  • The Wilde Ganzen Foundation.
  • The Rotary Club of Heemstede (through the Rotary Clubs of Kampala and Naalya).

 

For more information, please contact Evelyne Busingye or Niels Lenderink

 

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