Roughly 10 years ago, the Mityana Town Council instituted a project to drill boreholes for public water access in the town (just like the well pictured in the last post). These wells caused a great stir, and according to Patrick, people would line up as early as 2 a.m. for the privilege of being first in line for the upcoming day’s water. However, if you did not get to the well by 6 a.m., the line could often be so long that it took longer to wait at the well than to go fetch water the old way – at the nearest stream. Shortly after installation, the well broke. According to Patrick, because the well was in a public place, it was constantly played with and misused by small children.
Luckily, the Town Council had prepared for this – they had trained people to repair and maintain the well. But after 4 years, the repairs became so frequent that the well fell out of favor in the community, the repairers became frustrated, and the well became inoperable. In town there is still a shop with a sign indicating they provide well repair services, but Patrick told me it closed down 6 years ago. I attended a recent presentation by the District Community Development Officer (pictured above), and he said that less than 40% of the borehole wells in the district are operable. (In contrast, Patrick had a private borehole drilled for Maranatha’s primary school in Nkonya over a year ago. The well has been operating without any trouble. He believes it is because Maranatha owns it – since it is private property, it is carefully protected.)
The good news is, the failure of Mityana’s borehole in part led the Town Council to consider additional options for providing water access to its residents, and they decided to develop the infrastructure for piped water. So in March of this year, Patrick, his family, and the Maranatha Schools were the first in Mityana to receive piped water and a septic system. Of course, it cost quite a bit for Patrick and Maranatha, but it was an easy decision to make. Patrick is now one of a handful of Mityana residents with a flushing toilet, and the new dormitory being built will have the finest bathroom facilities of any boarding school for miles and miles around.