Thursday, October 15, 2009

Next Stop Buisumbu

In the Rwenzori foothills, Fifteen hundred meters up lies the small community of Buisimbu, Uganda. It's located about halfway between Kasese and Fort Portal and 45km from the Congo border. This community is one of many clinging to the mountain here, forming a dense patchwork of homes, schools and businesses.

These communities are mostly without protected water. Those lucky enough to live close to a protected source trudge long distances in the early morning to carry their 5 gallon (40 lbs) load back to their homes for cooking, cleaning, and drinking.

ACTS is just now setting up camp to begin work on a new gravity flow system to serve a population of 5,300 people. The camp consists of about 20 Ugandan crew, working on construction, health, agriculture and support. The camp also has several Mzungu volunteers like me that are assisting with engineering, education and health. We'll be here for about six months during construction.

living quarters at the work camp
As I mentioned in a previous post, the secterian divisions in this community present a unique challenge for the project.  Normally "mobilization" involves working with the Church of Uganda to get the community involved in construction and the formation of a water committee. Unfortunately, as of now these divisions are still present; they will need to be addressed very soon before construction begins in earnest in about two weeks.

I'll be here at camp for the next week to develop the preliminary engineering. I'll then be leaving for Congo for a few weeks to work on several projects in association with HEAL Africa.

No comments:

Post a Comment