Project information

Refreshing Failed Water Sources

The Millennium Development Goals for water, sanitation & hygiene requires progress made to be sustainable. Currently many water sources across the world are broken. We aim to right this wrong and rehabilitate failed sources in Uganda in order to save the lives of many, specifically children under 5

January 2012 - December 2017

Charity information

The Busoga Trust

The Busoga Trust logo
  • Need


    This project arose out of the discovery that, despite all our efforts to achieve sustainability and despite some remarkable examples of success, 20% to 30% of BT water sources had become partially or wholly non-functional. Several communities asked for help to retrain their HPMs and restore their water sources. In addition, a detailed survey has indicated many sources initiated by the government and other agencies exhibit similar rates of failure. We could not let this human tragedy go on.


    BT are working toward alleviating the burden of disease by rehabilitating 300 non-functioning water sources in the Busoga and Luwero regions of Uganda. This will benefit approximately 150,000 people (38,700 men, 38,700 women and 72,600 children) who currently lack access to an improved drinking water source within 1km of their homes. The project also intends to increase the proportion of people using an improved sanitation facilities and behaviours through our CLTS programmes

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To restore access to safe water for 150,000 people by repairing existing, non-functioning sources.


    » Firstly by rehabilitating 300 non-functional water sources without prejudice to those not originally built by the Busoga Trust
    » Incentivising a specially trained cadre of mechanics who are allocated an estate of wells and paid, by the community, according to their functionality

    A database of defunct sources has been established. Pre rehab statistics including water quality, coli form count, alternate source are published alongside the refreshed data

    Aim 2

    Reduce the burden of disease in rural communities


    » Empowering each source rehab community to make their own, positive changes by undertaking Total Sanitation drives for each community by the programme
    » Providing technical assistance to aid the construction of improved pit latrines, hand washing facilities, drying racks and other sanitary improvements
    » Introducing monthly hygiene reminder surveys in an effort to maintain momentum and consistency post intervention.

    CLTSs in each beneficiary community impart the necessary skills for change. % improvement figures from pre and post intervention surveys are published as key performance indicators

    Aim 3

    To reduce levels of chronic poverty in rural Uganda


    » By reinstating defunct sources less time must be spent collecting water and can therefore be better used on subsistence farming, schooling etc
    » Incentivising mechanics with a livable wage

    By incentivising mechanics with an estate of 'payable by results wells' we hope to ensure that functionality is sustained, a living wage is paid and the time burden is reduced

    Aim 4

    Achieve 100% rural water source functionality across Uganda.


    » By undertaking this project we hope to provide a blue print by which other agencies can operate and help fight the war against water source failure

    The ultimate goal is to provide a blueprint by which other agencies can help fight a general culture of 30-70% failure across Uganda and replace it with a culture of 100% success

  • Impact


    Providing 150,000 people will provide a very real and definite sense of hope for the future for those in rural Uganda. Our approach of repairing existing sources, can produce the same benefits of new sources at 30% of the cost. A key factor in the long term maintenance of sources is the incentive to maintain them. Our partner (Whave) will conduct independent assessments of the reliability of the water supply and help maintain the feasibility of a community led, payment by results scheme.


    There is a risk that some communities will not wish to partake in the scheme. Having operated in the region for 30 years we have always mitigated this risk by employing a majority African staff. Local staff are better able to engage with the communities and usually provide a greater leverage. The PBR scheme is also a new innovation and as yet, is untried in East Africa, although successful trials in Asia give us hope that the scheme is built on solid foundations.


    We have always reported to donors on an individual basis be it through annual, quarterly or single source completion reports. Each source, once rehabilitated, is committed to our database and the standard testing results indicated. Results include water column, recharge rate, coli-form count, pH etc

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £247,163

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      Amount Heading Description
      £18,935 Misc Additional vehicles, audit costs, independent evaluation costs.
      £48,500 Construction Materials Essential construction materials for rehabilitating community wells
      £30,000 Sub contractor costs Contracted amount for a local sub-contracted technicians over 3 years
      £23,299 CLTS Community Led Total Sanitation drives for 300 commuities (£77 per community)
      £70,649 Consumables Fuel costs for the three year programme duration
      £55,780 Staffing Costs for all staff UK (10% of annual salary) and Uganda staff over three year duration

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    The Headley Trust £48,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    According to Presidential candidate, Dr Kiiza Besigye, ‘Busoga is the headquarters of poverty in Uganda’. One of the greatest barriers to escaping poverty is ill health and one of the leading causes of ill health is water related disease. The level of drinking water is minimal. Much of it lies on the surface and is contaminated by faecal matter, deposited through open defecation, washed in by rain. The scarcity of safe resources is compounded by the huge demand.


    we always adopted a comprehensive and inclusive approach, working for the benefit of all people without exception. We offer minority groups especial recognition, to involve them as part of the whole community. Every WUC must appoint a representative of the youth, persons with disabilities and women before the rest of the positions are elected on merit. This helps to eliminate stigmatisation. Our team work in communities with the aim of promoting cohesion between community members.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Busoga Trust provides sustainable access to safe water, improved sanitation, comprehensive hygiene & health education to the communities in rural Uganda. Through this work, we hope to help alleviate the burden of disease from the shoulders of rural Ugandans, allowing them to build healthier and more prosperous communities. We have, since 1983, constructed over two thousand water sources in Uganda reaching over 1 million beneficiaries. Our first well is still pumping clean water, 30 years on

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Nicholas Ives

    Development Officer and key contact between the Executive Director and the Ugandan subsidiary



will pay for the rehabilitation of one source

'Busoga is a poor area, water remains a structural need. I have no hesitation in urging people to back the Trust’s work.’

Jon Snow, Journalist and Broadcaster, Channel 4 News