The following is excerpted from the Church News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.

Most people in developed nations walk just a few feet to a clean water source — the sink in their home. But in many places of the world, the water is not nearby nor is it safe or reliable. This was the case in the village of Rugarama in Uganda, until recently.

The people of the Rugarama — around 80 households — were using a borehole as a water resource. The pipes broke down, and the village no longer had a safe water resource, which increased the health risks. People had to fetch water from ponds or the next village over.

Water for People, with funding from Latter-day Saint Charities, worked to train the people of Rugamara to ensure long-term water sustainability, and the village restored the borehole. A newly formed water committee oversees the operations and makes sure to keep the source free of contamination.

Joseph Bwanika, who lives in Rugarama, said: “I make sure the source is functioning well, and I oversee the systems. When there are any issues, I make sure to report them to the chairperson. Therefore, I ensure that people have water all the time.”

What safe and reliable water means

When villages do not have water nearby, children and women often have to make long treks to a water source. 

“If you can bring safe, reliable water to the community, now the children and young girls can go to school. On a Sunday they could go to church instead of hiking miles to get water,” said Matthew Gardner, manager of food security and clean water at Latter-day Saint Charities.

Gardner said safety is a big issue as well: “Imagine young girls traveling miles in not very populated spaces or in the dark. There’s a lot of violence that happens. Having a safe place where they can go get water makes such a huge difference in their lives. It’s something we take for granted.”

To read the full article, CLICK HERE.