Okoru Village
Water Project

Project Funded!

Village Water Project

Okoru, Uganda, Africa

GPS: 1.0024, 31.4538

269 people

Status: In Progress

  • Story
  • Updates 8
  • Plan
  • FAQ's

Life in Okoru: Eseza’s Story

The biggest farm in Okoru village belongs to Eseza Nakalema and her family of 15. With so many hands to work the land, the family should be prosperous, but their water problem has left Eseza in a massive debt.

With so much family, there’s no end to the waterborne illness.

Each day at 6 a.m., all eight grandchildren walk to the contaminated spring to collect water and bring it back home before attending their classes. After school, they do it all again. The children tow 12 jerry cans of water each day.

Sometimes before school, Eseza goes with them to help.

“There are days when we find very many people at the spring and we spend up to three hours waiting in the long queue for our turn,” she said. “The amount of time taken could be spent on other productive work.”

Typhoid and other water-borne illnesses are rampant. Each time they go to the hospital, medication and transportation from their rural village costs the family an immense amount.

“We are forced to borrow up to $184 for medication and we must repay it with interest,” she said. “It is sad to realize the money is spent on treating diseases that could be avoided by providing clean and safe water.”
For a family living in extreme poverty, $184 is months worth of work.

The children are kind, smart, and Eseza wishes they didn’t suffer as they do from sickness and long walks for water.

You can help families in Okoru village today. Your gift will provide health training for each household, plus a safe water source near their village.

Lasting change means more than just building a well. Local Lifewater staff will work house by house to teach healthy habits and share the love of Christ with everyone. With clean water, children can spend more time in school and less time sick from waterborne illness.

Here’s what happens when you sponsor a village water project through Lifewater:

Partner with a village. Your gift kickstarts a community water project.
Teach healthy habits. Small changes make a big impact on family health.
Build a well. The village contributes up to 15% for construction.
Measure impact. Local staff track success and provide support.
Engage the church. We equip local churches to love their community.

Sponsor Okoru village today.

July 19, 2019: 2 new Healthy Homes Registered

Good news–there are 2 new Healthy Homes in Okoru! A home is certified healthy when a family has adopted five healthy habits: washing hands with soap and water, storing and using water safely, building and using a bathroom with a roof and door, using a drying rack to keep dishes off the ground, and keeping the area around the home safe and clean.

May 28, 2019: 2 new Healthy Homes Registered

Good news–there are 2 new Healthy Homes in Okoru! A home is certified healthy when a family has adopted five healthy habits: washing hands with soap and water, storing and using water safely, building and using a bathroom with a roof and door, using a drying rack to keep dishes off the ground, and keeping the area around the home safe and clean.

May 23, 2019: Village Certified ODF

When each household builds and uses their own functioning restroom, a community earns an “Open Defecation Free” (ODF) certification. Each country has their own processes and celebration for ODF villages, and it’s a huge accomplishment towards improved health for everyone.

April 23, 2019: 2 new Healthy Homes Registered

Good news–there are 2 new Healthy Homes in Okoru! A home is certified healthy when a family has adopted five healthy habits: washing hands with soap and water, storing and using water safely, building and using a bathroom with a roof and door, using a drying rack to keep dishes off the ground, and keeping the area around the home safe and clean.

April 09, 2019: 2 new Healthy Homes Registered

Good news–there are 2 new Healthy Homes in Okoru! A home is certified healthy when a family has adopted five healthy habits: washing hands with soap and water, storing and using water safely, building and using a bathroom with a roof and door, using a drying rack to keep dishes off the ground, and keeping the area around the home safe and clean.

March 08, 2019: 3 new Healthy Homes Registered

Good news–there are 3 new Healthy Homes in Okoru! A home is certified healthy when a family has adopted five healthy habits: washing hands with soap and water, storing and using water safely, building and using a bathroom with a roof and door, using a drying rack to keep dishes off the ground, and keeping the area around the home safe and clean.

October 19, 2018: CLTS Complete

In Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), each village goes through exercises that reveal how their current practices are making them sick, such as identifying all the places where feces are contaminating their environment. This important step equips communities to be knowledgeable about their health and willing to make changes.

September 2018: Project Ready

Okoru is in a very remote region of Uganda

View Interactive Map

This village is on its way to becoming a Healthy Village. The process takes approximately 24 months from start to finish. You can follow along with the progress below.

Here’s the Plan for Okoru:

Pro-Tip! If the timeline is blue, that means Okoru has reached this milestone! If it's gray, they are working towards that step next.

ready

Project Ready

Villages are carefully selected by Lifewater staff and wait for program work to begin in their area.

CLTS

In Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), each village goes through exercises that reveal how their current practices are making them sick, such as identifying all the places where feces are contaminating their environment. This important step equips communities to be knowledgeable about their health and willing to make changes.

clts
healthy-homes-registered

Healthy Homes Registered

A home is certified healthy when a family has adopted five healthy habits: washing hands with soap and water, storing and using water safely, building and using a bathroom with a roof and door, using a drying rack to keep dishes off the ground, and keeping the area around the home safe and clean.

ODF

When each household builds and uses their own functioning restroom, a community earns an “Open Defecation Free” (ODF) certification. Each country has their own processes and celebration for ODF villages, and it’s a huge accomplishment towards improved health for everyone.

odf
wc_schoolmc_formed

Water Committee Selected

Okoru has selected water committee members to manage the safe village water source. Forming a water committee is a key step toward establishing a safe water source in a village. Committees are made up of local men and women who manage the well and collect fees, ensuring the community’s investment lasts for generations to come.

Construction Started

Work is officially underway to build a new water source for Okoru village. Our local teams are using technology appropriate to the region and geography to ensure the new water source is sustainable.

construction_start
construction_complete

Village Has Safe Water Source

The new safe water source is now complete!

Clean, safe water transforms a village. Everyone gathers to celebrate, thanking God for the miracle in their community. 

Healthy Village

Great news! Okoru is now a certified Healthy Village. That means the safe water source is complete and more than 90% of the community’s homes are healthy. That is a new future for 269 children and families.

healthy_village_achieved

Village Water Project FAQs

What is included in the cost of a water project?

When you sponsor a village water project, you are helping bring lasting change. Your gift provides:

  • House-to-house hygiene and sanitation education
  • Custom engineered water source
  • Construction of a safe water source
  • Community engagement by Lifewater field staff to ensure change lasts
  • Monitoring and evaluation of the project with real-time updates to donors
  • Local church partnerships that equip the church to be the hands and feet of Jesus
  • Five-year water source maintenance and sustainability (funded by beneficiary communities on a volunteer basis)
Is this a real village? Am I impacting this actual village?

Yes! The village you are helping is a real village. All families photographed or shared from the project page have given their permission to have their information shared with you.

Can I visit programs and/or my sponsored water project?

Lifewater has local staff that live and serve among the communities and schools where Lifewater works. Our staff know the language and the culture and are best equipped to serve communities. Because we seek to ensure sustainable water projects and community buy in, we do not allow donors to visit the projects they sponsor. However, we do commit to sending real-time updates, photos, and stories from the projects themselves.

Where does Lifewater work?

With more than 40 years’ experience, LIfewater is the longest-running Christian clean water charity in North America. Over those 40 years, Lifewater has worked in more than 45 different countries. Currently, our work is focused in Sub-Saharan Africa (Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania) and Southeast Asia (Cambodia).

Why these countries and regions?

Lifewater identifies countries and regions that are unreached and underserved with basic water access and sanitation, which means we focus on areas where other organizations are not serving. 

Although great strides have been made in the past 20 years to solve the global water crisis, remote and rural populations still remain unreached with adequate water and sanitation. These distant regions are difficult and often costly for governments and NGOs to serve well. Many of these communities feel as though they have been forgotten.

Can I request a water project in a specific country?

Currently, Lifewater has programs in Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Cambodia. You can go to lifewater.org/projects to select a specific water project to help. Because our programs are regionalized and made in partnership with the local governments, we are not able to take requests for specific water projects outside of our existing programs.

What percent of funds go towards programs?

Lifewater budgets 80% of expenditures for programs. The remaining 20% is split between administrative/management and fundraising expenses. This ratio is best in class for nonprofits and is why Lifewater has received the highest rating from Charity Navigator.

Administrative/management expenses are used to ensure that we are effective in managing the funds entrusted to us and include the following types of expenses: accounting personnel, leadership time, professional development of staff, external auditors, legal counsel, government registration expenses in every U.S. state, credit card fees for processing donations, bank fees, database maintenance, and office expenses.

Fundraising expenses generate the income needed to do the work that we set out to do. These include the cost of direct mail appeals and communication, marketing projects, donor relations personnel, and email communication systems. Last year, every dollar invested into Lifewater fundraising efforts resulted in $10 of donation for the organization. 

Is Lifewater approved/vetted by 3rd party organizations?

Over our 40 year history, Lifewater has received the highest accreditations from the most respected rating organization in the industry. Lifewater is recognized as one of the top-rated charities in the United States by independent reporting organizations, including:

  • Charity Navigator (four stars)
  • Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA)
  • Guidestar (Platinum)
  • Great Nonprofits (five star)
  • Excellence in Giving

Learn more at https://lifewater.org/top-rated-charity.

How does Lifewater integrate faith into its work?

Lifewater’s work is founded on the belief that every person is made in the image of God. It is with this conviction that we seek out the globe’s most unreached, marginalized people groups in need of safe water. 

Both nationally and internationally, 100 percent of our staff are Christians. These Christian staff help facilitate Lifewater’s Healthy Church strategy in communities. And, where there are no churches, we work with church planting partners to start new churches. 

To create Healthy Churches, Lifewater first trains church leaders in foundational theology. These leaders are equipped with the basic story of the Christian faith and the biblical mandate to love others. Leaders learn that stopping the spread of disease and caring for the vulnerable aligns with our responsibility as Christians to love our neighbor. 

Second, Lifewater ensures churches have safe bathrooms on their premises, handwashing stations, clean water nearby, and the education to promote health within their congregations. It’s imperative that churches are early adopters of healthy hygiene practices. 

Third, Lifewater encourages churches to help vulnerable households become Healthy Homes. Church leaders undergo a training to become WASH (water access, sanitation, and hygiene) advocates in their communities. These advocates are encouraged to identify widows, child-headed households, the elderly, and the disabled to help them meet the health standards of Lifewater’s programs.

What is Lifewater’s process? What does the organization do, and how does it do it?

Lifewater’s Vision of a Healthy Village strategy is a relationship-first method. This model transforms entire regions house by house, village by village, and school by school. It is among the most intensive household-level work happening in the entire developing world and is closely tracked for progress, sustainability, and overall impact.

We construct custom-engineered safe water sources and teach life-saving health and sanitation practices in local villages and schools in need.

Story

Life in Okoru: Eseza’s Story

The biggest farm in Okoru village belongs to Eseza Nakalema and her family of 15. With so many hands to work the land, the family should be prosperous, but their water problem has left Eseza in a massive debt.

With so much family, there’s no end to the waterborne illness.

Each day at 6 a.m., all eight grandchildren walk to the contaminated spring to collect water and bring it back home before attending their classes. After school, they do it all again. The children tow 12 jerry cans of water each day.

Sometimes before school, Eseza goes with them to help.

“There are days when we find very many people at the spring and we spend up to three hours waiting in the long queue for our turn,” she said. “The amount of time taken could be spent on other productive work.”

Typhoid and other water-borne illnesses are rampant. Each time they go to the hospital, medication and transportation from their rural village costs the family an immense amount.

“We are forced to borrow up to $184 for medication and we must repay it with interest,” she said. “It is sad to realize the money is spent on treating diseases that could be avoided by providing clean and safe water.”
For a family living in extreme poverty, $184 is months worth of work.

The children are kind, smart, and Eseza wishes they didn’t suffer as they do from sickness and long walks for water.

You can help families in Okoru village today. Your gift will provide health training for each household, plus a safe water source near their village.

Lasting change means more than just building a well. Local Lifewater staff will work house by house to teach healthy habits and share the love of Christ with everyone. With clean water, children can spend more time in school and less time sick from waterborne illness.

Here’s what happens when you sponsor a village water project through Lifewater:

Partner with a village. Your gift kickstarts a community water project.
Teach healthy habits. Small changes make a big impact on family health.
Build a well. The village contributes up to 15% for construction.
Measure impact. Local staff track success and provide support.
Engage the church. We equip local churches to love their community.

Sponsor Okoru village today.

Updates

July 19, 2019: 2 new Healthy Homes Registered

Good news–there are 2 new Healthy Homes in Okoru! A home is certified healthy when a family has adopted five healthy habits: washing hands with soap and water, storing and using water safely, building and using a bathroom with a roof and door, using a drying rack to keep dishes off the ground, and keeping the area around the home safe and clean.

May 28, 2019: 2 new Healthy Homes Registered

Good news–there are 2 new Healthy Homes in Okoru! A home is certified healthy when a family has adopted five healthy habits: washing hands with soap and water, storing and using water safely, building and using a bathroom with a roof and door, using a drying rack to keep dishes off the ground, and keeping the area around the home safe and clean.

May 23, 2019: Village Certified ODF

When each household builds and uses their own functioning restroom, a community earns an “Open Defecation Free” (ODF) certification. Each country has their own processes and celebration for ODF villages, and it’s a huge accomplishment towards improved health for everyone.

April 23, 2019: 2 new Healthy Homes Registered

Good news–there are 2 new Healthy Homes in Okoru! A home is certified healthy when a family has adopted five healthy habits: washing hands with soap and water, storing and using water safely, building and using a bathroom with a roof and door, using a drying rack to keep dishes off the ground, and keeping the area around the home safe and clean.

April 09, 2019: 2 new Healthy Homes Registered

Good news–there are 2 new Healthy Homes in Okoru! A home is certified healthy when a family has adopted five healthy habits: washing hands with soap and water, storing and using water safely, building and using a bathroom with a roof and door, using a drying rack to keep dishes off the ground, and keeping the area around the home safe and clean.

March 08, 2019: 3 new Healthy Homes Registered

Good news–there are 3 new Healthy Homes in Okoru! A home is certified healthy when a family has adopted five healthy habits: washing hands with soap and water, storing and using water safely, building and using a bathroom with a roof and door, using a drying rack to keep dishes off the ground, and keeping the area around the home safe and clean.

October 19, 2018: CLTS Complete

In Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), each village goes through exercises that reveal how their current practices are making them sick, such as identifying all the places where feces are contaminating their environment. This important step equips communities to be knowledgeable about their health and willing to make changes.

September 2018: Project Ready

Plan

Okoru is in a very remote region of Uganda

View Interactive Map

This village is on its way to becoming a Healthy Village. The process takes approximately 24 months from start to finish. You can follow along with the progress below.

Here’s the Plan for Okoru:

Pro-Tip! If the timeline is blue, that means Okoru has reached this milestone! If it's gray, they are working towards that step next.

ready

Project Ready

Villages are carefully selected by Lifewater staff and wait for program work to begin in their area.

CLTS

In Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), each village goes through exercises that reveal how their current practices are making them sick, such as identifying all the places where feces are contaminating their environment. This important step equips communities to be knowledgeable about their health and willing to make changes.

clts
healthy-homes-registered

Healthy Homes Registered

A home is certified healthy when a family has adopted five healthy habits: washing hands with soap and water, storing and using water safely, building and using a bathroom with a roof and door, using a drying rack to keep dishes off the ground, and keeping the area around the home safe and clean.

ODF

When each household builds and uses their own functioning restroom, a community earns an “Open Defecation Free” (ODF) certification. Each country has their own processes and celebration for ODF villages, and it’s a huge accomplishment towards improved health for everyone.

odf
wc_schoolmc_formed

Water Committee Selected

Okoru has selected water committee members to manage the safe village water source. Forming a water committee is a key step toward establishing a safe water source in a village. Committees are made up of local men and women who manage the well and collect fees, ensuring the community’s investment lasts for generations to come.

Construction Started

Work is officially underway to build a new water source for Okoru village. Our local teams are using technology appropriate to the region and geography to ensure the new water source is sustainable.

construction_start
construction_complete

Village Has Safe Water Source

The new safe water source is now complete!

Clean, safe water transforms a village. Everyone gathers to celebrate, thanking God for the miracle in their community. 

Healthy Village

Great news! Okoru is now a certified Healthy Village. That means the safe water source is complete and more than 90% of the community’s homes are healthy. That is a new future for 269 children and families.

healthy_village_achieved

FAQ's

Village Water Project FAQs

What is included in the cost of a water project?

When you sponsor a village water project, you are helping bring lasting change. Your gift provides:

  • House-to-house hygiene and sanitation education
  • Custom engineered water source
  • Construction of a safe water source
  • Community engagement by Lifewater field staff to ensure change lasts
  • Monitoring and evaluation of the project with real-time updates to donors
  • Local church partnerships that equip the church to be the hands and feet of Jesus
  • Five-year water source maintenance and sustainability (funded by beneficiary communities on a volunteer basis)
Is this a real village? Am I impacting this actual village?

Yes! The village you are helping is a real village. All families photographed or shared from the project page have given their permission to have their information shared with you.

Can I visit programs and/or my sponsored water project?

Lifewater has local staff that live and serve among the communities and schools where Lifewater works. Our staff know the language and the culture and are best equipped to serve communities. Because we seek to ensure sustainable water projects and community buy in, we do not allow donors to visit the projects they sponsor. However, we do commit to sending real-time updates, photos, and stories from the projects themselves.

Where does Lifewater work?

With more than 40 years’ experience, LIfewater is the longest-running Christian clean water charity in North America. Over those 40 years, Lifewater has worked in more than 45 different countries. Currently, our work is focused in Sub-Saharan Africa (Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania) and Southeast Asia (Cambodia).

Why these countries and regions?

Lifewater identifies countries and regions that are unreached and underserved with basic water access and sanitation, which means we focus on areas where other organizations are not serving. 

Although great strides have been made in the past 20 years to solve the global water crisis, remote and rural populations still remain unreached with adequate water and sanitation. These distant regions are difficult and often costly for governments and NGOs to serve well. Many of these communities feel as though they have been forgotten.

Can I request a water project in a specific country?

Currently, Lifewater has programs in Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Cambodia. You can go to lifewater.org/projects to select a specific water project to help. Because our programs are regionalized and made in partnership with the local governments, we are not able to take requests for specific water projects outside of our existing programs.

What percent of funds go towards programs?

Lifewater budgets 80% of expenditures for programs. The remaining 20% is split between administrative/management and fundraising expenses. This ratio is best in class for nonprofits and is why Lifewater has received the highest rating from Charity Navigator.

Administrative/management expenses are used to ensure that we are effective in managing the funds entrusted to us and include the following types of expenses: accounting personnel, leadership time, professional development of staff, external auditors, legal counsel, government registration expenses in every U.S. state, credit card fees for processing donations, bank fees, database maintenance, and office expenses.

Fundraising expenses generate the income needed to do the work that we set out to do. These include the cost of direct mail appeals and communication, marketing projects, donor relations personnel, and email communication systems. Last year, every dollar invested into Lifewater fundraising efforts resulted in $10 of donation for the organization. 

Is Lifewater approved/vetted by 3rd party organizations?

Over our 40 year history, Lifewater has received the highest accreditations from the most respected rating organization in the industry. Lifewater is recognized as one of the top-rated charities in the United States by independent reporting organizations, including:

  • Charity Navigator (four stars)
  • Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA)
  • Guidestar (Platinum)
  • Great Nonprofits (five star)
  • Excellence in Giving

Learn more at https://lifewater.org/top-rated-charity.

How does Lifewater integrate faith into its work?

Lifewater’s work is founded on the belief that every person is made in the image of God. It is with this conviction that we seek out the globe’s most unreached, marginalized people groups in need of safe water. 

Both nationally and internationally, 100 percent of our staff are Christians. These Christian staff help facilitate Lifewater’s Healthy Church strategy in communities. And, where there are no churches, we work with church planting partners to start new churches. 

To create Healthy Churches, Lifewater first trains church leaders in foundational theology. These leaders are equipped with the basic story of the Christian faith and the biblical mandate to love others. Leaders learn that stopping the spread of disease and caring for the vulnerable aligns with our responsibility as Christians to love our neighbor. 

Second, Lifewater ensures churches have safe bathrooms on their premises, handwashing stations, clean water nearby, and the education to promote health within their congregations. It’s imperative that churches are early adopters of healthy hygiene practices. 

Third, Lifewater encourages churches to help vulnerable households become Healthy Homes. Church leaders undergo a training to become WASH (water access, sanitation, and hygiene) advocates in their communities. These advocates are encouraged to identify widows, child-headed households, the elderly, and the disabled to help them meet the health standards of Lifewater’s programs.

What is Lifewater’s process? What does the organization do, and how does it do it?

Lifewater’s Vision of a Healthy Village strategy is a relationship-first method. This model transforms entire regions house by house, village by village, and school by school. It is among the most intensive household-level work happening in the entire developing world and is closely tracked for progress, sustainability, and overall impact.

We construct custom-engineered safe water sources and teach life-saving health and sanitation practices in local villages and schools in need.