With no mains water supply, the community has to carry every drop required from the lake.
On average, it takes a half hour trek each way along narrow, steep tracks. In the rainy season they become slippery and treacherous. We know, we did it.
For the strong, a 20 litre container is the maximum, for the children who seem to do the most, a lot less.
For a family's daily needs for washing, cooking and drinking, this can represent several trips per day, rain or shine.
We wanted to help find a solution and make life a little easier for water retrieval. We discussed pumping the water from the lake up the steep banks and along the pathways to various collection points, but it would mean installing some seriously large and expensive equipment, kilometres of pipework and afterwards maintaining everything, let alone affording the fuel to run it.
With two rainy seasons per year, catching the water was the most obvious and simple solution.
Most of the buildings have tin roofs, making them suitable to fit guttering. The biggest building is the school, so we embarked on purchasing all the relevant materials from the nearest town and fitted the guttering together with a 5000 litre storage tank.
We repeated this process on several houses, strategically chosen so that surrounding neighbours could also benefit.
Feedback has been really positive, with thousands of trips to the lake already saved.
We hope to fit more on our next visit.
The slightly easier way to get to the spring. A water collection point and a good place to do the clothes washing, or just to hang out while waiting for your container to fill.
Stored water can be shared with all the immediate neighbours, making life easier for everyone.
Long term sustainability is our main objective and to help the community achieve this we believe helping the children become educated is one of the most important ways of helping everyone.
The community school does a great job of primary education, but secondary education needs to be paid for in Uganda.
Hence, most children in the community are unable to continue their studies due to lack of funds, so they are left with little hope.
With help and encouragement, these teenagers will have the potential to go and become nurses, carpenters, teachers, mechanics, etc. and their incomes can then benefit the whole community.
We met Lea, pictured here with Julia,a very bright 17 year old, desperately wanting to go to school but unable to because her parents could not afford to send her. Thanks to Laura, a very kind sponsor, she is now attending college and learning to be a seamstress, and making really good progress.
Clothes and footwear are in short supply, again due to lack of funds. Most children only had one set of clothes, often just a t shirt and either shorts or skirt, and no shoes.
Being 2000 metres above sea level it can get quite cold, plus with two rainy seasons per year the weather can make things pretty uncomfortable.
We managed to take 40 new pairs of plimsoles with us when we visited last year, it was great to see some of the children running around in shoes for the first time.
Since realizing the need for more clothes we have been collecting unwanted items such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, trousers etc, and even buying them from car boot sales. Using donated funds to cover the considerable cost of shipping, we have just sent our first parcel out to the community.
Matching 40 pairs of plimsoles to 40 pairs of feet was something of a challenge and caused great amusement and excitement.
The average daily household fresh water consumption in the UK is 340 litres per person.
This would represent around 30 trips to the spring or to the lake. Most families manage with around 30 litres per day.
Fundraising June 2019
We're off again, the 3rd of June sees us fly our bikes to Gdansk,Poland where we will commence an anti clockwise ride around the Baltic Sea using the same two bikes we used two years ago when we cycled across Europe and raised £5000.
We will be camping again, following the euro velo 10 route, taking in Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Holland.
Julia will start up the blog once more so you can all keep track of our progress, sharing our adventure () and if you get the urge to support us too, just go to the 'donate' page.
Remember, we pay all our own costs, every pound raised goes directly to the community, we will keep riding until our budget runs out and we have to go and find some work again. We're hoping to carry on for 8 to 10 weeks, it should be enough to do most of it! Checkout below for latest news
It takes around 3 hours to get to the nearest hospital. A steep trek down to the lake, a boat ride, then an 8 km walk. into town. for serious cases a taxi can be arranged if there is money available.
Sorghum, a flowering grass, is most commonly harvested. It's seeds can be dried to make flour, or fermented to make a nutritious drink. Along with potatoes and beans, it makes up the communities staple diet.
We have just successfully completed our cycle trip around the Baltic Sea, arriving back in England after 9 weeks, 3490 kms and 10 countries.
Experiencing plenty of weather, camping all the way,negotiating lots of ferries and bridges, and a tricky border or two in Russia, we landed by ferry in Harwich from the Hook of Holland, and cycled 'home'.
Endless beaches in Lithuania
Julia expertly improvising in one of the many camping spots
There's nothing like the open road
Meeting new friends
Some lovely trails and weather too!
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