I know it isn’t a believable apology when I keep making it over and over again, but here I am (again) apologizing for delaying many months between posts. I actually had planned to share a few more posts about Uganda once I returned home at the end of February, but Covid was picking up when I got back and, before I knew it, I ended up going to New York City to help construct a field hospital for the covid pandemic… but more on that next week 🙂
The video above is an example of water collection with some of the school kids from our recent project. I edited the video for sake of time, but the whole process of walking to the pond and gathering (dirty) water took about twenty minutes. The process happens multiple times a day as the kids need this water for bathing and cleaning. Many schools in Uganda also board the children in simple one-room concrete structures. The kids are responsible (at a very young age) to clean up and manage for their needs. This pond water is their source for bathing water and cleaning. There is a borehole well that is located quite far from the school. That takes the kids a couple hours to collect water for drinking and cooking, so the rainwater tanks we installed will give them access to safe water right at the school itself and save them precious hours daily.
The video, above, is an example of our Rainwater Catchment (also called “Rainwater Harvesting”) construction. We (Hydromissions) take great care in the quality of our work. We want to glorify God in every aspect of our construction, from the first trench to the final pipe fitting, so we focus on solid craftsmanship and continue to make adjustments as we monitor existing projects. This is not possible without teammates like Washington, shown in the video. He leads the projects and works diligently to meet the requests of the communities. I like this video because I can basically show a week’s worth of work in two and a half minutes 🙂
In Uganda, we have three main types of projects (1) Rainwater Catchment Systems (2) Latrines and (3) Borehole Wells. The type selected is based on the needs of the community and the field conditions. For example, we cannot drill a borehole well with our tools in rocky conditions, so we would look at the site and, if we find a building with a good roof, we would plan for Rainwater Catchment.
I explained more about our approach and the types of projects in the last post, titled “Are the projects Sustainable?”. In that post, I gave examples of some of the projects I checked while I was in Uganda. By the time I left Uganda, Washington and I had checked on 20 projects in various locations (some taking a couple days of travel). It was so exciting to see that all of our projects (some as old as 8 years) were functioning! I had notes on all of them – small repairs or maintenance notes, but all-in-all, I was really excited to see that we did, in fact, produce sustainable projects. Community involvement is very important on our projects. A project is much more likely to be sustainable if the community is invested in the construction and takes ownership.
Checking in one some of our projects and seeing them function was a such a “Praise God” moment! Praise God for sustaining the infrastructure, for providing for the water and sanitation needs in those remote communities and for giving us wisdom in how we operate the organization.
The video below is one of the more remote areas we went to check. This project was so well-received by the community that the school enrollment doubled after that received the Rainwater Catchment system back in 2019.
This video also gives you a little view of the scenery and the 30-min (one-way) boda ride, up and down hill, over rocks and through cows. We only ran into cows twice and I didn’t fall off so I would call it a successful trip 😉
This last video is just for fun and the media does not belong to me. I found clips that other people posted and put a couple together with dramatic music so you can (slightly) feel how crazy it is to commute in Kampala. I am either sitting in traffic for hours, squeezed tightly in a van with twenty other (hot and dusty) people OR I am weaving in and out of traffic on the back of a boda (motorbike) taxi. I literally started paying boda drivers tips to go SLOW. Haha. Seriously, I have sideswiped enough vehicles with whatever body part (forearm, shoulder, knee, hip) happen to be sticking just too far out from the bike at any given moment 😉
I promise (for real) that you will get another post within the week to catch up on the last few months. Even as I am here in the USA, work continues in Uganda because Washington keeps the projects going strong! We have been able to supply medical clinics and schools with much needed water systems during this pandemic.
p.s. If you wanted to have the construction video without my VoiceOver… I had made this for a different presentation so I may as well post it here 🙂