Jimmy Apunyu is a 15-year-old boy in seventh grade at Ating Tuo Primary School in Alebtong, Uganda. He and his older siblings are responsible for collecting the water his family drinks, and that his sisters and mother use for making dinner and washing clothes.
Jimmy’s family live in a village called Oyon Alwevi. It is less than one mile away from their school. But, because of the powerful intense and unsteady dirt roads, the walk to and from school can seem like it takes several hours. One day Jimmy and his sister stopped at a hand-dug well that they passed on their way home from school. It was very hot that day, so, they decided to take a rest. They drank the well water, poured some on their heads to cool off and played around in it. When they were ready to leave they filled up jerry cans with the water so they could bring some home with them.
An hour later, just after they returned home, both Jimmy and his sister started to feel sick. They had strong stomach pains that Jimmy described by saying “It was like my intestines wanted to climb out of my body”. Jimmy knew it was because of the water since it came so soon after they drank it. His sister said that she had been nervous about drinking the water at the time, but she was just too thirsty on the walk home to not stop for water. After a few weeks of feeling ill, Jimmy told the head teacher at his school, “I am sick with stomach worms and need help. Can we get someone to come to our school and help us.” One of the village elders knew the Uganda Program Manager for Drop in the Bucket who arranged for Jimmy and his sister to get medical attention. Two weeks, Drop in the Bucket built a well the Ating Tuo Primary School so that the school could have their own source of clean water well on the premises.
The medicine Jimmy and his sister were given quickly had them feeling better, and now that their school has a well, they won’t ever have to worry about getting sick from unsafe water again. Jimmy hopes to one day become a teacher so he can help other children to improve their lives.