2008 Trip to Uganda
In the summer of 2008 a delegation from NUDF (individuals traveled at their own expense) went to Uganda to check on the wells that were installed, to test the water and to hear from the people in the villages whether or not these wells were making a difference. The delegation included Dr Chris Opio, Tony Donovan, Vince Ramcharran and Dave Fuller. This group also delivered goats to cooperative groups to provide a livelihood for the communities, and vitamins donated by Canadian health food companies and Ave Maria Health Food store in Prince George to improve the health of villagers.
The results were amazing. Over and over we were told how these wells were making a difference in the lives of villagers. “We can now work in the fields, our children can go to school, we don’t always have diarrhea and feel sick, this well has transformed our village” said one man. Another Engola Dicken, of Ogek Village where one of the wells was installed said ” I thought I would die without drinking clean water” NUDF also had a well fixed at the Kamdini primary school that is home to 1200 students thanks to the donations from Sacred Heart School Students in Prince George. This school had been without drinking water for several months as there was no money to fix the broken pipes. ” Its amazing how the donation of one well can affect the lives of so many people in such a positive manner” said Dave Fuller after returning from Uganda. There are something like 892 villages in the Oyam province in Northern Uganda only a fraction of these have clean drinking water. The rest get their water from waterholes shared with animals and crawling with bacteria and parasites.
Wells dug by NUDF are put on government owned wetlands and at sites picked by the villagers. The wells installed since 2007 and the inception of NUDF have ranged from 32 feet to 126 feet and have cost an average of $2500.00 each including drilling, labour, piping and hand pumps. These wells serve an average community of 1000 people with one of the wells serving up to 2800 villagers. Making an average wage of less than $3 per day it would be nearly impossible for these communities to raise and save the necessary money to install a well and as a result they continue to use contaminated water for their daily needs.
NUDF has not only members in Canada but also some hard workers in Uganda including Geoffery Odongo, Tom and Bosco who have been key in find out the needs of the villagers and ensuring that the work for the wells is done properly.
Many people, groups and organizations donated goats last year and approximately 200 goats were donated mainly to cooperative groups located throughout the Oyam district. Goats are used mainly for meat and as a source of income through the breeding and sale of them. One such group that was given 40 goats in November 2007 had now 62 goats through their breeding program an increase of 50% in just 7 months. Thank you to everyone that participated in this project. While were inspecting these communities with goats we were informed of bee projects that had the potential of providing more income than goats at a cost of $35 per hive. Each hive was estimated to produce $70 of honey per year. More information to come on this in the future.
Cooperation with the Government of Uganda
While in Uganda the NUDF group also visited Hospitals, Clinics, Schools, and churches. We also met with representatives from Orphanages, Police, Bureaucrats and Government. Beatrice Lagada the Woman M.P. for the Oyam district was extremely helpful and made it possible for the delegation to hear the needs of the various communities in the North, many of whom where returning from internment camps (protection from the LRA or Lords Resistance Army – a rebel group that has been active in fighting in this area for the past 21 years ) Dr Opio and Tony Donovan also had the opportunity to meet with the President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni who assured the group that their investment in wells to help the people of Northern was extremely welcome and necessary and congratulated the group on the their work to date.
Music - While in Kamdini village we had the opportunity to go to a church where we hear the most incredible choir singing in a dilapidated half built church without a roof. Tony and Dave returned the next day to record the choir and promised that if people donated money for the cd’s that this money would go back to helping the community put a roof on the church. You can get a copy of this cd by making a donation and specifying that it is for the church and people making donations over $100.00 made towards a well will receive a free copy of the cd and dvd
Help Needed: Not only does NUDF need volunteers to spread the word we need help in raising money to install wells if you or your group would like to help out please contact us!
$35,000 – Will provide well drilling equipment to serve Northern Uganda 1000 villages in need of water
$2500 The cost of Well to serve a community of up to 2800 people – perhaps you would like to donate a well in memory of someone you love!
$1200 – provide 1/2 the money needed to go towards a well
$500 – makes a huge difference in helping put in a well
$100 – Provides 3 goats or 3 beehives but each 100 dollars towards a well can go to help so many people for a long time to come
$35 towards a goat
$other – all moneys go directly to Uganda to help those lacking water or other projects you specify.
NUDF is a registered charity in British Columbia. Registration # 847137155RR0001.
Contact Chris Opio or Tony Donovan at the University of Northern British Columbia