Access to safe water brings hope to Nakyerongosa village, Uganda

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Did you know that easy access to safe clean water means good health? One of COMASA (Combined Masonry and Sanitary Association) officials asked Mrs. Nakalyowa. Mrs. Nakalyowa narrates her story thus...

"Surely I could not understand what he meant because in Nakyerongosa village, community members had grown up using the pond and we were well aware that pond water was not safe but we had nothing to do. This is because ponds are so open that they are also used by cows and they collect lots of dirt like runoff water.

Kakiri sub-county had promised the community members safe water and they managed to give us a bore hole that used to serve over 390 people including a primary school. So accessing this safe water meant war. I and my girls had to wake up at 5.00 a.m to get in the line early enough so that they could leave for school in time. However, every one woke up the same time. We could find over 60 people already in the line and getting this water became a problem because I could waste a lot of time so I gave up and went back to my pond. However, this water was brown in color and was not good for consumption but I had nothing to do. It had actually made my white clothes dirty and I had also given up on wearing bright colors.

When our local leaders informed us that COMASA was coming to assist us to construct a hand dug well it was like a dream come true. I eagerly waited for them to come and all my village members were waiting to hear what they were planning to do. I remember very well what the water engineer said! He wanted full participation of all the people who were going to benefit from the water source and he encouraged us to mobilize the local materials which we needed in less than a week. We badly needed the safe water.

During construction, men, women and the children actively participated and we all enjoyed what we were doing. In two and half weeks we had completed our shallow well. This is our well since we all invested in our energies and hence we love it and we shall work hard to maintain it such that we do not go back to the ponds.

This new shallow well has saved our time. The competition for safe water is no longer there in our community since the number of users is just enough.

I am so grateful to COMASA and would like to appeal to it to assist other communities in Nakyerongosa so that they also get relief from the problems that we were facing."

On June 14, 2009, Dr. Omondi and a friend traveled to Arrow Web Hospital and worked tirelessly all day to see the line of people waiting for the opportunity to have their eyes examined. Arrow Web Hospital was able to offer this free day of vision exams thanks to the gracious support of the Lion's Club. 523 total people had their vision tested that day. Many more were still waiting as Dr. Omondi's time came to an end. There is a great need for this type of service in our local area and Dr. Omondi hopes to schedule another date to come and help us again.

We are so grateful to Dr. Omondi and the Lion's Club for their ongoing support of our community and Arrow Web Hospital.

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Arrow Web Hospital welcomes Dr. John Gilbert

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On June 7, 2009, Arrow Web Hospital welcomed our first international medical volunteer.

Dr. John Gilbert from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom has been volunteering side by side with our hospital doctors for the past several weeks. He will be with us for 7 weeks total.

Dr. Gilbert was looking for a place he could volunteer his down time from the university and spoke with Nick, a member of Alison Lowndes' organization, AVIF. Nick told Dr. Gilbert about our hospital and provided him with our website address. He then contacted Bramuel and made arrangements for his stay. So far, he is enjoying his time in Kenya and hopes to tell others about our hospital when he returns to the university.

We hope that his visit will help us establish a good relationship with the University of Sheffield and help bring other medical doctors to our hospital to volunteer in the future. We are very grateful to AVIF for helping us make this connection!

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