Thanks to our generous donors, with the administrative support from Equal Aqua Uganda, and construction by The Ichupa Upcycle Project , our first ecobrick water tank is up and running with harvested rainwater!
Check out this video for the whole story:
Now, the kids at Wells of Hope School AND the residents of Rwakobo Village have access to safe water!
This was the kick-off project for our WASH Campaign. Our 2021 goals are ambitious – but that’s good, right?
Ecobrick Water Tanks
Pit Latrines with Handwashing Stations
Deep Water Well
Ten Eighteen has 3 missions in Uganda: vulnerable girls and teen moms, water/sanitation/hygiene for Rwakobo, and food for three schools. In short, FOOD, WATER, SHELTER, AND EDUCATION.
It’s supporters like you, and our partners in Uganda, that allow us to accomplish this big mission, one small step at a time. We are so thankful!!
Yesterday was the official KICK OFF of our multi-year WASH Campaign. A WASH Campaign brings water access, sanitation, and hygiene to a community — and we are kicking off with a 10,000 liter water tank made of upcycled ecobricks for Wells of Hope School in Rwakobo Village.
Created in partnership with Equal Aqua Uganda, the Ichupa Upcycle Project, and Celebration Tabernacle Church in Mbarara, this project is exciting in so many ways!
It brings ample clean water to the students and staff at Wells of Hope School for washing, cooking, and (with purification like boiling) drinking.
It shows our commitment to this extremely poor and isolated village of nearly 3,000.
It involves the students and community by showing them how to fill the bottles with sand and use them to construct a tank.
It is a step towards a culture of upcycling and recycling the enormous amount of plastic waste in Uganda.
Equal Aqua will also be providing some Skills classes to the community.
We will have more updates, and are so thankful to YOU for your donations that have been this possible!
Almost exactly a year ago (March 12, 2020), we built a small cistern at Wells of Hope School in Rwakobo Village. Nearly 40 kids were out of school with typhoid due to contaminated water, we didn’t have the funds for a well — but we DID have the funds for a small 200-liter tank that would at least provide cleaner (and on-site) water for hand washing and cooking.
Almost as soon as the work was finished, the Covid19 lockdowns started. I don’t know if the community was able to use this small bit of clean water during that time, but I hope so. It’s still there, and will still be collecting water for the BACK TO SCHOOL students. (School officially started back on March 1!)
Starting on Monday, March 8, Equal Aqua Uganda will be building a new additional tank holding 10,000 liters of rainwater captured from the roof of the new school building! We’ve written about ecobricks before… They’re made using recycled plastic bottles, filled with sand, and cemented into a large structure to give it strength. The tanks have spigots at the bottom, are fed with rainwater, and covered to prevent contamination.
While technically, that small 200-liter tank was the (unofficial) start of our WASH Campaign for Rwakobo Village, THIS TANK is the official kick-off of a multi-year, ambitious plan to bring tanks, wells, new pit latrines, handwashing facilities, and a hygiene campaign to this village.
OUR GOAL FOR 2021: 1 DEEP WATER WELL 2 PIT LATRINES 3 ECOBRICK WATER TANKS
Access to clean water and sanitation is the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 6: “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.”
In Rwakobo Village, this goal is 100% a dream right now.
BUT THANKS TO YOU, WE’RE GETTING STARTED NEXT WEEK!
The village at Rwakobo Rock, which we call Rwakobo Village but which doesn’t seem to have a formal name, is about 10km inside Lake Mburo National Park. It was founded as a place to relocate Rwandan refugees, and (apparently) forgotten. While there is another village inside that park that seems to have services, a decent (for a Ugandan village) road, and houses the employees of the various safari lodges, Rwakobo Village is spread out and isolated — by geography, and by culture.
Their isolation has led to an extremely high rate of HIV/AIDS and STDs. Syphilis, in particular, seems to be rampant and largely untreated. No hospice or other medical outreach serves the village. Water-borne diseases such as typhoid, as well as malaria and illnesses related to poor hygiene, are leading causes of sickness and death.
WHAT IS A WASH CAMPAIGN?
WASH = Water Access, Sanitation, and Hygiene
WATER IS THE FIRST URGENT NEED
But at the same time, Wells of Hope School and Celebration Tabernacle Church outreach are teaching best hygiene practices. Since almost half of people in Rwakobo Village practice open defecation (going to the bathroom outside), there is a great need for education and construction of safe pit latrines for the villagers as well. All of these things are interconnected and vital for health and safety of those living in this village.
THIS TYPE OF CAMPAIGN IS A MARATHON NOT A SPRINT!
We have been working in Uganda since 2009, and are committed to this project for the long haul. Just before the school closings and lockdown last year, Ten Eighteen Uganda built a kitchen and a small cistern — sufficient for daily use — at Wells of Hope School. Thanks to a generous donor, we now have the funds to install a 7,000 liter eco-brick tank at the new school building. Since Equal Aqua Uganda will be traveling several hundred kilometers from their usual area, we are hoping to raise money for at least one 10,000 liter tank for the village to be built at the same time.
But what are the long term goals in this WASH Campaign?
At least 12 ten-thousand gallon tanks spread throughout the village, to catch rainwater that can be used for washing, cooking, and drinking (with purification techniques such as boiling).
One deep-water well installed by the end of 2022, and four by the end of 2025.
Conduct a village-wide hygiene campaign in 2021 in collaboration with Celebration Tabernacle Church and Wells of Hope School, to teach the importance of using best hygiene practices such as frequent handwashing, especially after defecation.
Construct pit latrines in the community in collaboration with Celebration Tabernacle Church.
If you’d like to donate to our Clean Water for Rwakobo campaign,we’d love to have you partner with us to effect meaningful and lasting change in this devastatingly poor community. 100% of your donations go to the project! And we’d love your thoughts, comments, and prayers as we tackle this job — we can’t do it, but God can accomplish it!
Clean water comes pouring out, ready for drinking, washing your hands, filling a pot, doing the laundry.
We really don’t even think about it.
But for the villagers in Rwakobo, there is no tap. There are no pipes. No wells. No clean water.
This is a “seasonal well.” It, and the others used by the 2,700 villagers, are natural or man-made depressions in the ground, filled by rainwater. Trenches dug in red dirt send more water into the stagnant pond.
Animals that live inside the Lake Mburo National Park use these “wells” (shallow ponds) also. They drink from them, cool off in them, use them to sneak up on prey. They defecate in and around them, and along the trenches where the rainwater flows.
The wells aren’t even very close to the village, meaning that they walk — mostly children — a mile or more to fill one or two jerry cans with filthy water, then return to their homes. The water is used for everything we use water for: cooking, washing clothes, sponge bathing, drinking.
t’s no wonder that water and feces born diseases that cause diarrhea are rampant.
DIARRHEA IS THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH OF CHILDREN UNDER 5 IN UGANDA…
WHAT ARE WE DOING TO HELP?
While our ultimate goal is to be able to have deep water wells to serve the village, our first step is to install Eco-Brick tanks. We have been able to secure funds for a 7,000 liter tank for the Wells of Hope School (thanks to a generous donation!), which will allow the children to have clean water for washing and cooking, and drinking with purification techniques. The children are being taught basic hygiene at the same time, so that hand washing with soap becomes second nature.
WE WANT TO FUND AT LEAST ONE 10,000 LITER TANK FOR THE VILLAGE IN FEBRUARY!
We are partnering with Equal Aqua Uganda, a UK/UG partnership, to build these tanks. Equal Aqua has been working in Eastern Uganda since its founding last year, but have agreed to travel to Rwakobo Village for this project. We would love to take advantage of this by installing more than one tank!
Eco-bricks are made by recycling plastic drink bottles, packing them with sand, and re-capping them to form a solid brick. They are then cemented into the structure, creating a stable tank to hold much more water than a cement-only tank would hold. The tank is filled with rainwater from the roof, a top keeps the tank clean, and a spigot at the bottom allows for the water to be drawn off and used.
A 7,000 LITER TANK COSTS $735, AND A 10,000 LITER TANK COSTS $1150
WE CAN DO IT! With your help, we can raise the money to kick off the WASH project in Rwakobo Village.
WASH = WATER ACCESS, SANITATION, & HYGIENE
We can save lives, and IMPROVE the lives of these extremely impoverished people.