Jun 19, 2023
One year ago, our Gay Lea Foundation approved a $10,000 grant to H2O4ALL Canada, an Oakville, Ontario-based charity whose mission is to bring safe water and sanitation to developing areas worldwide.
The funds were earmarked for the Life Schools & Kyempene Village Safe Water Project. This venture would see the construction of a safe, solar-powered, sustainable water system in Kyempene Village, an impoverished community of about 1,500 residents in Western Uganda, where more than 70% of the population relied on a stream of stagnant water as their primary water source.
Working in partnership with Reach One Touch One Ministries (ROTOM) Uganda and local community members who helped dig trenches, lift tanks, and provide accommodation for the workers, the new water system was constructed over ten days in January 2023, with H2O4ALL commissioning three water access points: one at the Primary School, another at the Secondary school, and the other for the Kyempene community.
With a capacity of 2,700 litres per hour and a 10,000-litre storage reservoir where all water is treated before it is distributed, the new system is now bringing clean, safe water to residents of Kyempene.
“For the first time, students at Life schools and the residents of Kyempene Village can access safe, reliable water stations to collect water for hand washing, cooking, and washing clothes,” says H2O4ALL co-founder Tim Muttoo. “This significantly reduces exposure to various illnesses and the risk of waterborne disease in the community and lessens the burden of water shortages and the need to travel great distances for water. From a broader perspective, it also helps improve development in Kyempene, as the women and children who typically collect water can now focus on education and economic development.”
Muttoo reports that the school and community were 100% involved throughout the project implementation period and have elected an overseeing committee to manage the water system going forward.
“The buy-in and full support of the community is an integral part of the sustainability of this type of project for the long term,” says Muttoo. “Empowering and employing locals in the construction and ongoing maintenance of the system is key to community ownership.”
H2O4ALL estimates that about 3,000 people in the Kyempene community and Life Primary and Secondary Schools are now directly benefitting from the safe water project – a number that is expected to grow as increasing numbers of people from the neighbouring villages and the school use the new system to access clean and safe drinking water.
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How the Gay Lea Foundation and H2O4ALL are helping communities in Uganda implement sustainable solutions for their water crisis
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