December 29, 2022

Mr Sekyooyo Elated that Borehole Was Selected for Rehabilitation

In 1988, the first borehole in our area was drilled near St Andrews church (#708). For many years, it replaced the traditional well we had all used, but the population in the area is so great that after a while it broke down. The community would come together to repair it, but with so many people demanding water from the pump, breakdowns became more frequent. At first the 1 kilometer walk seemed like nothing, but to walk 1 km and find the borehole is broken…it became discouraging.

Luckily, another borehole was drilled to help relieve some of the burden on the St Andrews borehole, and we were excited because it was just ½ km away from our home. But our communities are so big and people come from far to fetch- again, the never ceasing demand resulted in breakdowns. It seemed that one of the boreholes was always broken, and while the communities came together to pay for repairs, they never really fixed the problem. The pipes were rusting, the pumpheads were old and worn out, and so many people needed the water.

You can’t imagine our excitement when the next borehole in our area was planned for just across the road from our house!! We have lived on this plot of land for 34 years. It was almost more than we could believe. And at first, it was almost like having water at our home- it was right there! We took special care to keep the place organized and clean. And the neighbors beyond us were thrilled- they no longer had to walk so far either! We were happy. We were able to buy some pigs and they were growing well, we could spend more time in our gardens and they produced more food. The time we used to spend walking we could spend on our properties and our animals. It was a good time!

It seems that whoever drills these boreholes does some part of it so well, but one thing they didn’t do well was the pipes. The pipes would get rusty and break. There were too many holes in the pipes, and 1.5 years ago, the borehole across from our house stopped working. Many people were discouraged because we would pay for repairs but the problems continued, the pipes would still rust. Sometimes I would pay to have things fixed, then people would come use the well but wouldn’t want to help pay for the repairs, and it became too expensive. It was like we had gone back in time, to 7 years ago. We started going to the other boreholes, which were sometimes broken. There were so many people needing water from whichever well was currently working, that you could stand in the queue for too long. Us older people didn’t have the strength to stand there waiting for long and we often would leave before it was our turn to pump. There were too many children out of school and the area around the borehole near the church was becoming too dirty. It became too much to have to carry water for our pigs. Sometimes we would just go back to the traditional well- the water is not good, but is saved us a small bit of time.

We heard that UWP/HK was going to come fix our wells. They wanted us to go for training, and because this borehole is across from my house and I am the person primarily responsible for it, I went to the church on the appointed day. We learned how we should care for the boreholes, and how we should build fences to protect them from the animals and the children. But it still seemed too good to be true.

But now- it is true! We are smiling again! I am getting to be an old man, my wife and I, our children have grown. These young ones are our grandchildren, they have been staying with us since the schools closed because of Covid. When the men pulled the old pipes from inside this borehole, there was so much rust and sediment! We watched as their tools cleaned the old water out and it ran clear again. We are excited- we have hopes that we will again have enough water even for our animals, and that we will again begin to give attention to our gardens. We move slower these days, and we are overjoyed that we now just have to cross the road to get water! It is exciting to have our neighborhood come back because the water is here again!

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