Water School Project

Water School Project for Sustainable Water Management for People and Nature around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

This €2.1 million project is funded by D. Swarovski KG (Swarovski) of Austria as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility under their Water School Program.

Water School Project aims at creating awareness in sustainable water use and management for people and nature in the neighborhood of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park(BINP) in Kanungu district. The project is providing safe drinking water to schools through construction of water boiling facilities.

Our goal:

Conservation of BINP watershed through effective community participation in sustainable water use and management; with a purpose of improving sustainable water use and management in twenty schools and 2000 households adjacent to BINP in Kanungu district.

This makes children aware of the importance of sustainable management of water resources for the benefits of their own livelihoods and health as well as of the surrounding ecosystems (including the BINP home of half of the world�s mountain gorilla population) on which they depend and which is their primary source of water.

It has three objectives namely:

  • Raise awareness of 10,000 pupils/students in sustainable water use in twenty schools adjacent to BINP in Kanungu district by 2012.
  • Supply clean safe potable water to twenty schools and 2000 neighbourhood households by 2012.
  • Improve water sanitation facilities at Buhoma community Hospital and at the twenty pilot schools.

Kanungu District in South Western Uganda has problems of safe water delivery to households and it has always been the District plan to deliver safe water to all the district population. In 2000 a plan was put in place to construct a gravity flow scheme for Kayonza sub-county but funds for its construction could not be identified in the District or national Budgets. In 2009, which was the Gorilla Year, Swarovski as part of its Corporate Community Social Responsibility (CSR) Programme, under Swarovski Water School Project, identified Kanungu District as a focal area of support and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park as the nucleus of their support. In a baseline survey done to identify what intervention to undertake, the water scheme was identified among others as a project that would serve the interests of the people and have substantial impact in the peoples livelihood. A four year project among others to design and construct the Gravity Water Scheme was designed in partnership with Bwindi Mgahinga Conservation Trust. The scheme will have four reservoir tanks, cover 42 kilometers to supply water using ground laid pipes and 58 distribution taps.

The scheme will serve the four parishes of Bujegwe, Karangara, Ntungamo and Rutendere in Kayonza sub County with an estimated population of 17,000 people. Among the direct beneficiaries are: nine schools (five under Water School Project), three health units, a Sub County Head quarters and three churches who will have safe water in their compounds which will greatly improve the running of these institutions.

Banyara Gravity Flow scheme was launched 24th March 2011by the Resident District Commissioner (RDC), accompanied by the Chairperson (LCV),the Chief Administrative officer (CAO) among other Kanungu district dignitaries. The scheme Consulting Project Manager is Kigezi Diocese Water and Sanitation Programme and the construction contractor is M/S Robtex Kasese Enterprises Ltd.

The district and national leaders have acknowledged and appreciated the Swarovski and BMCT contribution as BGFS will contribute to increased rural safe water coverage in the district and the nation at large. This contributes directly to Millennium Development Goal number 7 targets 7 "to halve by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe water and basic sanitation."

Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA)

BMCT uses Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) as an entry point for addressing community members and strengthening the impact of our programmes. VSLA members meet once a week to save, which makes them easily accessible for community change agents (described on the following page) and BMCT staff. A VSLA is a micro-credit model under which 25-30 members meet in a self-managed group once a week to save and borrow money.

Members can take out loans to invest in income generating activities such as commercialised farming, goat rearing and small businesses, or they can use the loans to meet expenses like school fees and medical bills. All members pay 10% interest and have three months to repay the loans, resulting in a steady growing pool of money, which is shared among the members once a year.

VSLA members are provided with security against unforeseen emergencies and they have access to means to invest in the future. As a result, VSLA members experience pronounced economic and social progress leading to an overall increased well-being and enhanced quality of life.

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