Hi everyone, I am working with Hope for Children in Namuwongo slum (Kampala city, Uganda) to implement Water & Sanitation project. The project had been running since July 2012 and anticipated to go upto June 2015. During the last 2 years, project achieved solid waste management, drainage upgrading and cleaning and construction of public toilets. However, on side of access to safe water, limited progress registered. The project intend to achieve increase access to safe water by installation of pre-paid water dispensers in the area through partnership with National Water & Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) under Pro-poor urban project incentive. The idea is as private vendors selling tap water charge 100/= per 20 litre of water, community members accessing water through pre-paid water dispensers at 25/= per 20 litres of water could be much cheaper and affordable, hencewillincrease access to safe drinking water. NWSC had installed 31 pre-paid water dispensers in the project area last year in November, but impact is quite minimum as over 70% of these dispensers are not working and those that are working now practically operate like private taps. Our assessment in area indicates that people use groundwater-based sources (spring & wells) in the area more than tap water. Water quality tests carried out on these groundwater-based sources also indicate that they are contaminated by faecal and heavy metals, so considered not safe for drinking, yet most people depend on them for all their domestic water needs.Preliminary discussions with NWSC seem to indicate increasing piped water network in the area is not within the dreams. Even the few private tap water network existing have intermittent/ unreliable supply.This settlement is located within wetland and railway land reserve (i.e. government restricted area), so settlement in the area isconsidered illegal within policy framework, yet has been epicenter for cholera outbreaks in recent past. As an NGO, Hope for Children has been drawn into helping these community based on the critical needs assessed, but policy and access to land posed a challenge.
Therefore, Hope for Children feels it is important to review approach in regards to increasing access to safe drinking water in order to achieve the objective set. If any household level low cost water treatment option capable of removing pathogens and heavy metals exist, introducing them could be the best option. As access to groundwater-based water sources is quite high and for free, individual households could use their water treatment units to have safe drinking water at will.
So I would be glad to know if anyone has experience to share in using household level water treatment options that are low cost and applicable in situation similar to ours in Kampala (Uganda). System that may not require electricity or if must, should be solar compliant as access to energy is one of the problems in this community.
Thank you in advance.