Church project funds water system for Uganda pygmies

PUBLISHED: 12:00 01 February 2015

Stephen and Pheonah with their family who now have access to clean water.

Stephen and Pheonah with their family who now have access to clean water.

Archant

LEADERS behind a community campaign to raise £90,000 to provide clean water to people in Uganda are appealing for support to reach the final total.

Stephen and his family in Uganda who now have clean water thanks to the people of Nailsea.Stephen and his family in Uganda who now have clean water thanks to the people of Nailsea.

The Nailsea Uganda Water Project was launched in September 2012 with the aim of raising £90,000 in three years to provide clean water to six villages.

Individuals, community groups, schools, churches and businesses in the town have been putting on events over the past two years to try to hit the target.

The campaign is now in its third year and organisers are appealing for people to help them raise the final £21,000 before September.

Roger Evans, from the project, said: “Thank you for giving generously so that we reached the £60,000 target for year two.

“And now we are in the third year and have collected £9,000 already so just another £21,000 to go. Together we are making a difference.”

Last month, £508 was raised at a carol singing event and the 10th Nailsea Brownies collected £427 with a quiet day and concert.

Four churches in the town donated £2,700 to the cause and a number of people have signed up to donate monthly.

The latest people to be helped by the project are a 250-strong community of pygmies - a marginalised ethnic group who were evicted from the forest they lived in so the Ugandan government could set up a national park.

Stephen Serutoke, aged 65, is the leader of the community in Rurembwe parish which has now been transformed thanks to the water project.

It used to take the pygmies three to four hours to draw water each day, but most of the households did not have water storage facilities to collect it.

Some pygmies were unable to bathe or wash their clothes for weeks at a time.

Stephen said: “If it was not for God’s grace, there is no way a community of 250 members could live in such a slummy lifestyle with only two latrines, yet survive for years.

“The water programme has acted as a liberator from these unhygienic conditions.”

His wife Pheonah added: “We are frustrated by government officials who only make empty promises. Little did we know that the project would help us.

“We have been relieved of our long-time burden of carrying heavy pots of water. This is something we only dreamt of and we never expected such a change.”

Project organisers have already set up a number of events for this year including a wine tasting evening on March 19 at the Trinity Centre.

Two concerts, a stall at the farmers’ market in April and a sponsored cycle from Land’s End to Plymouth are also planned.

To find out more or to put on a sponsored event for the charity visit www.nuwaterproject.org.uk


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