Our #1 Priority: Clean Water

team digging a soak pit

Digging a soak pit

The Carroll College EWB team initiated a project to provide clean water to the 400 students at Holy Trinity School and the 350 residents in the surrounding village of Kawango. The five year project began in 2016 when the team traveled to Uganda to make an assessment trip. They traveled there each year to complete Phase I which was to restore existing
boreholes, and Phase II which was to dig a deep well. The partnership that exists between The Julius Foundation and Carroll College EWB is that EWB pays for the travel expenses for the Uganda trips, while TJF does fundraising and pays for the construction costs of the water project.

The Carroll College student chapter of Engineers without Borders recently sent a team of eight students and two faculty mentors to Uganda from Dec. 29, 2019 – Jan. 12, 2020. There they worked to complete Phase III of The Julius Foundation’s clean-water project for Holy Trinity School and the village of Kawango. This phase of the project provides clean flowing water on demand, to spigots located near the school kitchen and the boys’ and girls’ latrines: the first piped water available anywhere in the village!

person standing on concrete tap platform

New tap-stand next to the kitchen

To create this piped water system, a solar-powered submersible pump was lowered into the well borehole that had been dug on the school grounds in January 2019. The new pump automatically fills two 10,000-liter tanks installed on a platform elevated 20 feet above ground. From these tanks, the water runs under the influence of gravity, through a network of underground pipes, to the tap-stands. As Ivan, one of the school’s teachers, explained, “Before the borehole, everyday we would pick two or four students … and say to them, ‘You are not going to class, you are going to collect water,’ and they would miss class just running back and forth to the spring, back and forth all day delivering the water. Since the borehole, the students do not have to miss school for the water.”

While at the school, the EWB team helped our Kampala-based contractor complete the project by backfilling pipe trenches, digging soak pits to collect water runoff from the tap-stands, and filling the soak pits with large rocks. This is done to prevent the accumulation of standing water that would serve as a breeding ground for disease-bearing mosquitoes. The EWB team also trained school personnel and students in maintenance procedures for the new water distribution system, proper hygiene protocols, and techniques for cleaning the jerry cans used to store water.

students standing before one of the 10,000-liter tanks before it was hoisted into place
Students standing before one of the 10,000-liter tanks before it was hoisted into place
water tanks atop their platform
Tanks atop their platform
as woman demonstrating the water flow-meter to school personnel
Demonstrating the water flow-meter to school personnel
a man standing by a flowing tap
Running water: the system works!