The COVID-19 crisis has had an enormous impact on the whole world for most of this year. And here in Uganda, life has also been at a standstill. Schools have been closed since March, gatherings of over a dozen people are banned, and all borders have been tightly shut down. But fortunately, since the need for clean water was so urgent to help fight the virus and protect the communities, Drop in the Bucket has been allowed to keep drilling, although under strict guidelines.
We recently finished drilling 12 wells for communities and schools in Pader and Nwoya districts of northern Uganda. And, last month, we were given the green light to finally begin our community trainings. With guidance from the local Covid-19 task forces, we have now completed training all of the village water management committees on strategies for proper care and maintenance of those new wells. The participants were required to wear face masks and sit in marked positions that adhere to the social distancing guidelines during the trainings. We also included an additional hygiene component that focuses on COVID-19 related procedures for operating the hand pumps and keeping the community safe. Water users are also required to wear face masks around the wells at all times, avoid congregating, and wash their hands before pumping water.
It has been a long three months of working without community involvement. Because of COVID-19, the communities were not even allowed to watch drilling progress. This was not normal and we missed them.
Our 2020 campaign will be aimed at providing clean water for 20 clinics and health centers in northern Uganda. Please consider supporting this campaign as we work to help these communities stay healthy and fight the virus.