Agirigiroi Project Update: Finding Gold

In January 2019, we completed a successful borehole drilling for Agirigiroi. All of the tests we needed to complete merited great results meaning we have exceptional water quality and quantity. So what happens next and when can the community start using this water source? Great question.

Our current issue is that we found a lot of water, we mean A LOT of water. Our original design cannot move this much water. To put it into perspective, the aquifer we found is the biggest in the district. The second biggest can sustainably provide 125 liters (33 gallons) of water every hour. The aquifer we found can sustainably provide 3,375 liters (892 gallons) of water every hour. To move all of this extra water, we need stronger pipes, more solar energy, and a powerful pump.

We have already provided training for the community on what to expect next. Next would include completing all of the water storage and distribution parts. Once completed, the solar energy and pump can be installed to begin providing clean water to everyone. Before the system would officially get turned on, final training would take place to run through the entire system with the community.

At this point, the only thing holding us back is the availability of funds. This project will guarantee a life long supply of clean water and drastically change the effects of poor water and sanitation. Together, let's raise funds and work with Agirigiroi to end their water crisis.

Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Water. What Makes Clean Water

Water is necessary for life. There is no debating that fact. Humans, animals, insects, and plants all need a regular supply of water to stay alive. The human body is 60% water and helps promote the healthy function of the body. Close to a billion people do not have access to clean water and are forced to drink dirty water.

There are three main types of pollutants that make dirty water. Sediment, living organisms, and chemicals. One common misconception with bad water is that it is always a murky brown color, but the pollutants that are going to kill someone are invisible or stay hidden in clear water.

If a water source is not protected, many outside elements can enter the water well such as dirt, rocks, or mud that turn the water into a dark brown color. The discoloration makes the water look unappetizing so no one will want to drink it. Sediment is easy to clean by using small screens to remove any dirt creating clear water.

Once water is clear, the dangerous contaminants have to be eliminated. When people bath or wash dishes in the same water source, different types of bacteria can enter the water. Many animals go to the bathroom close to the unprotected water source which will eventually run off into the drinking water. If those bacteria or parasites are consumed, someone can become very ill and even die if their immune system is too weak. The bacteria has to be killed from the water through different solutions such as chlorination, using bleach, or a UV filter.

The last step is to remove all chemicals, minerals, and salts. Low quantities of some minerals are not harmful but can be lethal at large quantities. An example is fluoride. Fluoride is used at low quantities in water to keep pipes and consumers healthy. Once the quantity of fluoride exceeds a particular threshold, consumers can experience liver damage and other digestive issues. All of these elements have to be filtered out.

Many substances can make water unhealthy. Through proper planning and testing, the right method of filtering can be employed to create a clean water source.

Water Struck for Agirigiroi: Now What?

During our most recent trip to Uganda, we found a clean water source for the community of Agirigiroi. Through a joint effort between professionals in the United States and in Uganda, many people collaborated to create to discover this water source. Now that the borehole is dug and almost completed, now what?

Great question because we are almost done and the water taps to this project are almost ready to be turned on. Next week, three important tests are going to be completed: A pump test, water quality sampling test, and soil sampling test.

These three tests will reveal how much water is present, if any methods of filtration are necessary, and can the soil hold the weight of a small water tower.

Our objective with this project is to ensure everyone in Agirigiroi has to walk less then .5kms to get clean water year round. This will be a substantial improvement from their original situation of having no water in the dry season and having to walk 2.5kms or more to find a water source.

Once our the three highlighted tests above are completed, we will begin implementing our final design of solar energy and water distribution. Depending on the ability for contractors to mobilize, we are hoping to start and finish this phase in February. Thousands of peoples lives are being changed thanks to you.

Summiting Mount Hunter: Adventuring for Clean Water

Ross Kulick woke up early on Dec 18th to grab his ski gear and begin his winter summitting hike of Mount Hunter. This was not just another hike but an event. The 4.5 miles, 1,600ft of elevation, and freezing temperatures will play a unique role in challenging Ross each step. His trek is to help children and communities gain access to clean drinking water.

Ski boots in his backpack, helmet on his head, and skis strapped to his side. Ross was at the trail head ready to start. The weight distribution and awkwardness of his gear made hiking tough. Balancing between hot and cold became a constant frustration. To Ross, this was expected, something he prepared for and handled well.

Water played a constant role in his hike. His own water supply froze from the cold temperatures forcing him to use a portable pocket stove to warm up his water. The ice and snow made the trail slippery and harder to walk through. When he was sweating and began to cool down, his sweat would freeze making him to cold.

Even with these unique challenges, Ross was unphased summiting the top and enjoying a partial day of skiing. His next goal is to summit all of the 35 peaks in the Catskills Mountains.

Traveling in the Shoes of a Child Without Water

Everything needs water. Without water, nothing can happen. For communities without water, whether it is dirty or clean, someone must go out early or late into the night to bring water back so the day can begin.

It is a child's job, typically the girls, to get water for their family. What seems like a simple task will take up most of their day and energy. They leave home with empty 5-gallon cans beginning their 2-3 mile journey. Quite the way to spend your morning. Without walking with a companion, many children risk being attacked by people.

Once they make it to their water source, they have to fill up their 5-gallon can. The water tends to be muddy, murky, and shared with animals. Once the 5-gallon can is full, it weighs 45lbs. That same 2-3 mile walk just became harder and troublesome.

Carrying 45lbs is no easy feat even for an adult. The pressure of the water constantly shifts as it is balanced on top of the child's head. Small breaks are needed every few minutes from the exhaustive process of carrying water. Once they make it home, they must begin to use that same water to cook, clean, and wash. Even if that water is dirty and might make someone sick, they must use it for their day.

After all of these chores, children can leave to go attend school. Many will become distracted or fall asleep from being exhausted of carrying the weight of the water.

This all can change, with an accessible clean water source close to their home. This is where MissionCleanWater comes to help.