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Water & Sanitation

water sanitation projectWater is critical to sustaining life and for improving the rural livelihoods. By drilling boreholes (deep wells) throughout the region, the center has supplied clean water to thousands of families, enabled the irrigation of crops and provided for the care and well-being of livestock through the dry season. The result is better farm productivity, fewer water-borne illnesses and more time devoted to school and income-generating activities.

The CSRL Program Officer and District water officer work with the communities to build their capacity to take over management of the boreholes. The Water User Committees in each community establishes and trains both in theory and practical borehole management. The communities contribute financially to the boreholes, ensuring communities are committed to repairing the borehole in case of any breakdowns.

Ready access to safe water from boreholes coupled with instruction for establishing tip tap water dispensers are central to CSRL’s programs that promote proper hygiene and sanitation practices to help families maintain healthier and more productive lives. Additional efforts in the community include teaching the importance of school health, immunizations, personal reproductive health and development of life skills

CSRL Impacts:

  • Improved water quality and sanitation in several schools
  • Twenty four boreholes have been installed in schools and communities in desperate need of proximate, clean and abundant water
  • Borehole platforms and cisterns have been added to collect spilled water and rainwater for use in livestock watering, irrigation and brick making
  • Drinking water purification system installed in the new Mpirigiti Rural Training Center

Kirabira Scovia's Story:

Livestock water tankHand-washing with soap is the single most important means to prevent the spread of serious infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most people living in the United States have access to clean water, making hand-washing a simple task.  But would you wash your hands as often if, like Stephen Batwaula, his wife Kirabira Scovia and their children, you didn’t really understand the correlation between clean hands and health?  Or if you didn’t have a convenient washing method?

“Before we started working with CSRL, I would describe myself as having very low income with limited food. We ate twice a day.  Our hygiene and sanitation was also poor. Like we never used to wash our hands after using the latrine and we fell ill frequently,” Kirabira Scovia said. After receiving training through the CSRL program, Scovia and her family use a ‘tip-tap’ water dispenser for hand-washing, a dish rack to keep utensils clean, latrines that have been properly dug and rubbish pits built according to recommendations. “In summary I can say that I got so many things—improved sanitation, food security, agricultural trade and livestock production,” Scovia said.

To make a gift to the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods, please click here to go directly to the ISU Foundation, or contact Sarah Roelfs at (515) 294-1031 or