In partnership with One Day’s Wages and The Adventure Project, MiiR's support of this project has helped restore 35 wells in the Kamwenge and Kyegegwa districts of western Uganda, employing over 50 individuals and impacting close to 15,000 people who rely on these wells as their daily water source.
The problem: Over one-third of all wells drilled in the last twenty years are broken; 50,000 are currently broken in Africa alone.
The opportunity: Training local well mechanics to fix and maintain wells is the most sustainable way to ensure wells are always working so people have access to clean water. Mechanics earn an income from fixing and maintaining wells.
Communities drawing from these restored wells have agreed to a “pay-as-you-fetch” model with two payment options - per jerrycan or per month. Of the funds collected, 20% goes to the sub-county and is drawn upon in the event major well rehabilitation or repair is required. The other 80% goes to the appropriate individual(s) employed (i.e. mechanic, “caretaker”) to ensure ongoing functionality of the well. Caretakers are educated in business skills, financial management, marketing and recordkeeping, and are trained in the importance and benefits of clean water to then communicate that message back to their villages.
As of May 2015, close to 15,000 people (50+ families per water source) may now draw water from 35 wells previously out of service. A clear and affordable “pay-as-you-fetch” water card payment system is in place, with a designated mechanic as well as caretaker measuring water flow and usage through fitted meters. One caretaker in particular, named Ayisha, has reported a sense of her community experiencing better health and reporting fewer illnesses as a result of drawing water from the well she oversees, instead of a swamp shared by livestock.