Community Constructed Shallow Wells

Uganda Village Project (UVP) began constructing safe water sources in 2005, and to date has constructed over 60 protected sources as a part of our Community Constructed Shallow Well program. Visit our Well Construction Process page to see a step by step photo essay describing how our program works and why it is so successful. Following a few years of merely building sources when requested by partner communities, we determined that a more strategic and systemic model was needed. After more than a year of working with local leaders, engineers, rural families and community based organizations (CBOs), UVP launched the Community Constructed Shallow Well (CCSW) project.

This model mobilizes local resources in order to maximize community participation and ownership while minimizing the need for external support and financing. The project begins with participating partner CBOs and local leaders identifying communities lacking a safe water source. Next, we conduct a series of meetings with the village government and the population as a whole. Discussions cover basic safe water education, the logistics of construction, the distribution of responsibilities and the training of a Water User Committee. In order to begin construction, a village must provide 60% of the total cost through in-kind contributions of food, labor, land and locally available materials. To cover the remainder, UVP has negotiated an agreement whereby the District Water Office covers 10% of costs by providing the technical parts, CBOs cover 5% through transportation and community education, and finally, we fundraise to pay for the remaining 25% of each well with the help of our generous private donors.

Follow up reports indicate that the CCSW project has been highly successful. After a promising pilot of six wells in 2007, UVP signed an MOU with the District Water Office to facilitate the construction of 10-15 additional wells in 2008. Since that time, Uganda Village Project has continued its partnership with the District Water Office, keeping a contract to construct at least 10 wells with the assistance of the office every year. Throughout this period, we have worked to improve techniques in planning, building and preparing communities to manage well maintenance.