In Uganda we have partnered with WaterAid Uganda to refurbish 16 existing and one new clean water well, providing thousands of families with easy access to clean and safe water. The project is well underway with our team meeting with district and sub-district authorities, as well as communities to introduce the project and share our plans and vision.
At one of the selected sites we will be installing a production well, supplying a larger community of people with clean water. The pipe network distributing water will be fitted together with members of the community and the pump will be powered by solar energy. Prior to selecting the 17 sites for the boreholes extensive water testing was undertaken to ensure the groundwater meets all quality standards and the right locations are selected. A follow-up water quality test will be performed six months after the borehole installation is complete, ensuring continued supply of clean water. One of the most important partners for the Safe Water Saves Lives project are the Water User Committees, working with these committees will ensure we are able to respond to the needs of communities in all 17 locations. We will provide training to the committee members and will support them in managing the infrastructure going forward.
Our progress in The Gambia
In The Gambia we have been doing extensive research and engagement to identify the most impactful way SCIF can make a difference. We have been speaking to members of the community in places where the MRC Unit The Gambia has a presence, working to identify community initiated projects that have the potential to reduce carbon emissions and contribute positively to the health and socio-economic wellbeing of communities. Based on these consultations we have been able to move forward to select projects that will be cost effective, have an impact on the livelihood of the communities, are environmentally friendly and will benefit the greatest number of people. And as was the case in Uganda, we have found that providing safe and clean water is the most promising way for us to have an impact. We have therefore been conducting a baseline survey in five identified communities to understand their water needs, current source of drinking water, and methods used to purify water. In each of the communities, the results of the survey show we can play an important part in improving people’s easy access to clean and safe water.