BENEFITING: Nourish International
Nourish International wrote -
Chapter: Columbia University
Partner Organization: Rural Agency for Sustainable Development
This year, Nourish at Columbia is partnering with the Rural Agency for Sustainable Development (RASD) to construct a 20,000 liter water tank and establish a Water Users’ Committee in the town of Nkokonjeru in southeastern Uganda to improve residents’ access to clean water.
Nabuwondo, a zone in the Nkokonjeru town area, has a population of 1,700 people, many of whom have poor access to water and sanitation. The single spring-box, a device that stores and filters water from a local source, currently serves the entire village and often dries up, leaving the people without a source of water. Women and children are thus forced to travel long distances for water. Water-borne diseases are common, especially among children, whose education suffers as a result. The idea for a water tank that would make use of the large catchment area in the village that is suitable for rainwater harvesting was born out of a need to correct the problems described above.
The project will take six weeks to complete, which includes time allotted for familiarization with the area, community interaction, clearing the area, construction of the tank, installation of piping and establishment of the Water Users’ Committee. The water tank being built will also function as a water-treatment reservoir due to the presence of a sand filter. The Water Users’ Committee will be comprised of local community members and stakeholders who will be trained on maintaining the systems and engaging the community in protecting the water, thus ensuring long-term and sustainable gains from the project.
The Rural Agency for Sustainable Development (RASD) is an NGO founded in 2000 by a group of concerned citizens of Nkokonjeru Town Council. Their mission was, and continues to be, to alleviate poverty in the Mukono and Kayunga Districts by improving public health and expanding economic opportunity. RASD is an organization born out of the community it seeks to serve. It is fully integrated as a permanent fixture in the community that provides resources and skills to alleviate poverty. Furthermore, RASD has vast experience working with student volunteers. They have worked extensively with Engineers Without Borders teams from University of California Davis and Duke University, as well as with other Nourish International chapters from Rice University, Miami University of Ohio and the University of Georgia. Programs run by RASD cover issues ranging from water supply and sanitation to education and technology.