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!